Convicted sex offender killed his ex-wife, then self — prosecutor
CARLSTADT — A 43-year-old man who once served a prison term for raping a woman, shot and killed his ex-wife before then shooting himself, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced on Sunday.
James Cox, of Carlstadt, had prompted an hours-long standoff with law enforcement on Saturday, after relatives of 34-year-old Massiel S. Deoleo, of Mahwah, had reported her missing to police and shared concerns for her well-being, Musella said.
Deoleo had last been seen alive with her ex-husband, according to the prosecutor, and family members had called police just before noon to check on both her residence in Mahwah as well as Cox's borough home.
Officers responding to Deoleo's address found some of her belongings outside, while police who arrived at Cox's home on 6th Street found him with a semi-automatic gun pointed at his own head, as he said he was going to kill himself, Musella said.
Carlstadt Police called in Bergen County's Regional SWAT team and crisis negotiators remained on scene trying to resolve the standoff until around 8 p.m., when members of the team entered Cox's home and found him dead from a single gunshot wound.
Officers also recovered Deoleo’s body inside, and said she had been shot sometime the previous night, Musella said.
Cox had been convicted in 2002 of aggravated sexual assault with a weapon, according to State Police records.
Bergen County authorities first confirmed the murder-suicide late Saturday night.
As of Sunday afternoon, no potential motive was disclosed.