JERSEY CITY — The deaths of a man and woman in Jersey City on Sunday morning are under investigation as a potential murder-suicide by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office. The woman was a chef who had achieved noteriety on "MasterChef India" several years ago, before opening a restaurant back in February.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said the body of 37-year-old Man Mohan Mall was found floating in the Hudson River at the end of Montgomery Street near Exchange Place. He was pronounced dead around 8 a.m.

Police also responded to Mall's residence along Christopher Columbus Boulevard in Jersey City where a female resident, identified as 35-year-old Garima Kothari was found with apparent trauma to the upper body, according to Suarez. Kothari was pronounced dead at the scene.

Their deaths appear to the result of a murder-suicide, the prosecutor said, pending results from the Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.

Other than a shared resident, the nature of the relationship between Kothari and Mall was not immediately revealed by police.

Kothari was the chef and owner of NUKKAD, an "Indian soul food" restaurant that first opened its doors back in February on Greene Street in the Paulus Hook neighborhood of Jersey City.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on restaurants led to Kothari announcing on March 30 that she was closing the business down. But by April 19, she announced on her Facebook page that NUKKAD was re-opened for pickup and delivery orders.

Years before opening her Jersey City restaurant, Kothari was a finalist on the TV competition "MasterChef: India" and then studied pastries in France at Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute. She began a food consultancy and catering business, "Breaking Bread," before also opening NUKKAD this year.

Suarez asked anyone with information about this incident to call her office at 201-915-1345.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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