Twenty-two-year-old Jared Eng has been charged in New York with murdering his mother, whose body was found stashed last month in the trash at her weekend home in Morris Township.
Eng, of New York, entered a not guilty plea on Wednesday at his arraignment before New York Supreme Court Judge Maxwell Wiley. The defendant was indicted by a New York grand jury of second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison upon conviction.
Shortly after authorities believe Paula Chin, 65, was fatally slashed in her TriBeCa apartment, Eng twice drove his mother’s vehicle to the Bailey Hollow Road residence.
He told a homicide detective that the first trip, in the early hours of Feb. 1, 2019, was to retrieve his coin collection to sell for a rent down payment; later that afternoon, he claimed he returned to start “apartment hunting,” according to a statement investigators submitted to court officials.
Chin died from a stab wound to the neck and blunt trauma to the head, the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s office determined. Her body was found on Feb. 5, and Eng initially was charged with concealing a corpse.
Now, Eng and co-defendant Jennifer Lopez, 18, of New York, have been indicted on that charge.
They also were indicted on three counts each of hindering prosecution, a first-degree offense that carries a maximum of seven years in jail. Additionally, the indictment charged both with three counts of tampering with physical evidence. That charge, like corpse concealment, can bring up to four years behind bars.
Eng continued to be held without bail. Defense motions are scheduled for April 10.
Lopez is scheduled for arraignment on March 14. Her bail was set at $100,000 last month, when she arrested on a charge of concealing the body. Her present bail status could not be determined late Friday afternoon.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the legal status of a second suspected accomplice, Caitlyn O’Rourke, 21, of Patterson, NY. She also was charged last month with concealment, and her bail at the time was set at $50,000.
Chin was killed sometime between Jan. 30-31, the indictment alleges.
Lopez allegedly drove Eng and his mother’s corpse in Chin’s 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser to the Morris Township house, where authorities say O’Rourke helped them launder Chin’s garments.
Investigators found Chin’s body stuffed in a garbage bag, in a garbage container outside her home, on a wooded hilltop in a neighborhood with large lots. Chin was not well known in the Township; most of her time was spent in New York, according to next door neighbors.
In a jailhouse interview with the New York Post, Eng reportedly denied the killing and asserted he had argued with his mother about seeking help for her declining health–not about disposition of her fortune, which he estimated at up to $11 million.
Chin was trustee of her late husband’s estate. Eng and his older brother Brandon were not entitled to their share of the family fortune until they turned 35.
Lopez and O’Rourke were girlfriends of Eng, who described himself as polyamorous and “gender fluid,” according to the Post. Eng and O’Rourke have been students at SUNY New Paltz.
Authorities said they have video showing a duffel bag being loaded into Chin’s vehicle early on Jan. 31.
At the Morris Township home, evidence included bloody rubber gloves in the garbage, swabs of blood stains from the garage floor, and duct tape matching tape from the Toyota trunk, according to authorities.
Similar rubber gloves were found at the Vestry Street apartment in TriBeCa. Forensic techniques also indicated bloodstains, stated a criminal complaint.
One New Jersey neighbor described Chin as a petite, friendly woman. Her social media portrayed an active lifestyle with frequent travel.