A New Jersey man allegedly slit the throat of his estranged wife in front of his 12-year-old son, the Daily Mail is reporting.
State police are hunting for Jeremiah Monell after the body of his 36-year-old wife; Tara O’Shea was discovered by troopers on Monday at her residence in the Commercial Township. The 32-year-old suspect has been charged in absentia for weapons possession and murder. His bail set at $1 million if he is caught.
Friends of O’Shea said the 36-year-old had endured years of physical violence at the hands of Monell. A distraught friend, Penny Morey said she could not count how many times O’Shea showed up at her house after being pummeled by her violent husband.
“You don’t know how many times she came to my house beat up…we all told her to run anyway…to go anyway.”
A childhood friend, Jen Messeck, said O’Shea had recently obtained a restraining order against her abusive husband and was looking to move back to her native Tennessee. However, a judge had stopped from her leaving the state with the children. The terrified 36-year-old had told friends that Monell was eventually going to kill her. Messeck said her friend had been through hell and back with Jeremiah Monell and wanted to leave New Jersey at all costs.
“It was living hell. He beat her. She was constantly on the run from him. She wanted nothing more than to get out of there.”
When state troopers found O’Shea on Monday, she was unconscious, but pronounced dead a few minutes later. A manhunt was declared for Monell the same day. He is yet to be arrested. New Jersey State Police who combed a wooded area near his Cedarville residence Tuesday evening found his truck. A search is ongoing with multiple police cars patrolling the axis and helicopters hovering in the sky.
As of Tuesday, police were yet to confirm the restraining order and the cause of death. However, O’Shea’s 12-year-old son reportedly confirmed that his mother’s throat was cut in front of him before he ran to neighbor’s house to get help.
Manhunt Underway For JEREMIAH MONELL 32YR OLD CEDARVILLE NJ Man>Charged In Death Of Is Estranged Wife TARA O'SHEA https://t.co/4f1mzTGn7q— Eric Wright™ (@therealeric916) December 20, 2016
Messeck and Morey have fond memories of Tara O’Shea. According to Messeck, she was childhood friends with O’Shea, but they lost contact, they eventually reconnected. She described Tara as an amazing person to her children, who was also there for her during the challenging times of her divorce.
“Tara was an amazing mom, an amazing friend…she was so kind and caring. She would give you her last dollar if it meant helping you.”
Morey revealed that she met O’Shea a few years back when she lived in Cedarville. According to Morey, her granddaughter was a good friend to O’Shea’s son. One day, Morey said when she was driving her granddaughter to school, she saw a pregnant O’Shea walking her child to school. Penny Morey said she offered her a ride and they became close after that. She described the 36-year-old as a caring person who was always available to help anyone in need.
“She was very loving, very caring. She had a heart of gold. She’d help anybody out—anybody. It didn’t matter who they were or what they were.”
Morey said several times O’Shea had arrived at her doorstep bloodied from the beatings that her husband gave her. The couple both had two children. Morey believes the 32-year-old man always used it as leverage to beg for forgiveness and get back into her life.
Penny said it was pathetic that after Tara finally made the decision to leave her abusive husband, a judge thought otherwise and barred her from leaving the state with the two children. Penny thinks the judge was insensitive to her plight and downplayed the dangers of domestic abuse.
“She didn’t have a voice. Nobody cared. She wanted to be heard and nobody heard her. Domestic violence is real.”
Monell was last seen driving a 1994 blue Chevrolet S10 with New Jersey license plate X91GJV. The car has since been recovered by police. He is 5-foot-9-inches tall and weighs approximately 140 pounds.
A GofundMe page has been opened to cover Tara O’Shea’s funeral expenses.
This is a developing story.
[Featured Image by Rapid Eye/iStockPhoto]