Murder-suicide in Carlstadt

A 43-year-old man killed his ex-wife and then turned the gun on himself in a murder-suicide in the New Jersey village of Carlstadt, officials in Bergen County confirmed Sunday.

Carlstadt Police and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit are investigating the apparent murder-suicide that occurred at 601 6th Street, Carlstadt, on Saturday.

According to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the preliminary investigation revealed that a a female victim was found dead inside the residence after police entered the home around 8:00 p.m. following an hours-long standoff with James T. Cox, 44.

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said Cox is suspected of having murdered his ex-wife, 34-year-old Massiel S. Deoleo of Mahwah.

They believe he then committed suicide. Police say Cox was found dead of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Officials said no other individuals are believed to be involved.

James T. Cox (Image: NJ Sex Offender Registry)

Cox was convicted of aggravated sexual assault with a weapon on January 30, 2002, in an incident that involved the sexual assault of an adult woman. He was registered as a convicted sex offender, as required by New Jersey Megan’s Law.

An investigation is being conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Carlstadt Police Department under Chief Thomas Berta’s direction

Authorities are hoping to figure out what caused the divorced and unemployed Cox to go on a rampage.

On Saturday, April 3, 2021, at about 11:48 a.m., the Carlstadt Police Department received a phone call from a family member of Deoleo reporting her missing and stating that they were concerned for her well-being.

The family member said the last person she was with was her ex-husband, Cox, whose residence was at 601 Sixth Street, in Carlstadt.

Minutes later, another one of Deoleo’s family members contacted the Mahwah Police Department and asked them to respond to her residence, where officers found numerous items of the woman’s personal property outside her residence.

Carlstadt police officers responding to Cox’s residence were confrinted by the suspect, who pointed a semi-automatic weapon to his head.

Cox told the police he was not going to shoot officers but he was going to take his own life.

Around that time, officers exited the residence and contacted the Bergen County Regional SWAT team.

Crisis negotiators from the SWAT team spent several hours trying to resolve the situation peacefully.

At approximately 8 p.m., a SWAT team entered the residence and they found the bodies of both Cox and Deoleo in the residence.

Police determined that Deoleo had been fatally shot sometime the previous night.

A joint investigation conducted by detectives from the Mahwah Police Department, the Carlstadt Police Department, and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit determined that Cox murdered his ex-wife and then committed suicide.


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