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The university student from New York City accused of brutally murdering his mother in her Tribeca apartment and leaving her body in a garbage bin in New Jersey has pleaded guilty to those crimes.
Jared Eng, 25, pleaded guilty on Sept. 16 to charges of second-degree murder for the violent death of his mother, Paula Chin, 65, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Investigators say Eng murdered Chin “in an attempt to accelerate his inheritance” by viciously beating and stabbing her in their shared Tribeca apartment in January 2019.
Eng also slashed his mother’s throat, according to Fox News. A postmortem examination revealed Chin died of multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma.
“This was a brutal and shocking murder of the defendant’s own mother, and while nothing can undo this tragedy, today’s guilty plea represents an important step towards justice,” Bragg stated. “My thoughts are with those who continue to mourn Ms. Chin’s loss.”
Jared Eng's brother, Brandon, allegedly told investigators that he last saw his mother alive in the Tribeca apartment on Jan. 31, the NY Post reported. He reported her missing on Feb. 4 and she was found dead in New Jersey the next day.
Prosecutors say that, after the murder on Jan. 31, Jared Eng “sanitized the apartment" and eventually, with the help of two women with whom he was allegedly involved, transported Chin’s body to a family home in Morristown, New Jersey and stuffed it into a garbage container.
They further allege that the then-22-year-old Eng and Jennifer Lopez, who was then 18, called Eng’s other girlfriend, Caitlyn O’Rourke, after the murder, and Eng confessed to it. Eng allegedly told the women that it took his mother “a while to die,” while Lopez allegedly admitted to helping Eng transport his mother's body to her New Jersey home, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Poughkeepsie outlet. Police speculated that he called the women for help because he didn't know how to drive.
Lopez allegedly told O’Rourke over the phone that things were “all clean” and that “the hardest part was backing up the car.”
Following Chin’s murder, prosecutors also say Eng sent a series of texts implicating himself in the murder, such as “It’s done” and “I’m free” and that he “got rid of [his] problem.” The district attorney’s office’s release did not specify to whom Eng sent these texts.
Within days of the murder — but before her body was found — Eng changed the passwords to his mother’s bank accounts and performed internet searches for probate lawyers. Eng also googled different ways to dispose of a body.
O’Rourke allegedly admitted to police that she participated in covering up the crime when she joined Eng and Lopez for a second trip to New Jersey on Feb. 1 to more completely dispose of Chin’s body.
After discovering Chin's body on Feb. 5, investigators found other items of evidence related to the murder, including bloody rubber gloves and duct tape. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, the items were found with Chin’s body, while blood stains were also observed in the garage.
Eng, who had been a student at the State University of New York - New Paltz, was arrested on Feb. 6, along with Lopez and O'Rourke.
Lopez was charged with three counts of first-degree hindering prosecution, three counts of tampering with physical evidence and one count of concealment of a human corpse. O’Rourke was charged with concealing a human corpse and tampering with evidence.
Both women’s cases are still pending.
Speaking to the New York Post from Rikers Island for an hour-long jailhouse interview shortly after his 2019 arrest, Eng — who at that time denied killing his mother — said Chin had been worth $10 or $11 million.
Eng told the paper he and his older brother were supposed to collect an inheritance from their father, who died of lung cancer in 2008. Instead, the will specified that money went to Chin in partial trust for the brothers, making it so they couldn’t collect their inheritances until she passed away or each brother turned 35. He admitted to the paper that Chin regularly gave him money from the inheritance, however.
Eng now faces a minimum sentence of 18 years to life and a maximum of 22 years to life in prison, according to the district attorney’s office. Formal sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 18.
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