Local/State

Mom, daughter stabbed in Merchantville identified, suspect charged

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Camden County Prosecutor's Office has identified the mother who was killed and her daughter, who was seriously injured, in a stabbing late Wednesday night in Merchantville.

A suspect has also been identified and charged with murder.

Both 50-year-old Suzanne DuRocher and 22-year-old Kristen DuRocher were stabbed multiple times, investigators said.

Suzanne was killed, while Kristen is in stable condition at Cooper University Hospital.

Meanwhile, 26-year-old Gilbert Villanueva has been charged with murder.

Neighbor Andrew Kuppler says it was after 10:30 p.m. when Kristen knocked on his door and said she needed help for her and her mother. They lived several houses away on the 100 block of Prospect Street.

"She looked like she was in shock. She had some obvious wounds to her arm," Kuppler said. "She just said she was attacked, she was stabbed, and that she needed some help, so we called 911 and told the police what was going on."

Investigators say Villanueva broke into the DuRocher home and Suzanne tried to get him to leave. Police say he killed her, then stabbed Kristen.

Neighbors say Villanueva and Kristen had a recent breakup. Hospital staff notified police and it didn't take long for authorities to make the connection.

Police say they found him after he was admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden with suspicious injuries "consistent with knife wounds."

Villanueva of Camden pled not guilty in court today. As stone-faced family members looked on as Villanueva stood silently with his right hand in bandages.

Bail has been set at $1.7-million.

Prosecutors say Villanueva has a criminal record and that in late October Kristen Durocher asked for a restraining order against him.

"It was issued, never served on the defendant and was withdrawn by the victim," Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk said.

It's been a difficult time for the family. Suzanne's husband died in 2011 when a trailer fell on him at a work site in Moorestown. Neighbors say Suzanne was a mother of three, and a grandmother. She also was the Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Operations at Temple University Hospital.

In a statement, Temple said:

"We are shocked and saddened by the loss of our dear colleague, Suzanne DuRocher, RN, MSN, who served as Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Operations at Temple University Hospital.

We extend our sincerest condolences to her family and friends as they begin to deal with the after-effects of this tragic loss.

For the past eight years, Suzanne has been a vital and well-respected member of the Hospital's leadership team. She touched each of us & and our patients & in a very special way. She eagerly shared with colleagues her extensive knowledge and commitment to advanced nursing practice in the delivery of quality, compassionate care to patients.

We have lost a wonderful and inspirational colleague whose passion for life and positive energy was expressed every single day & and whose presence will be dearly missed."

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Tags:
stabbing, homicide, camden county news, new jersey news, local/state
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