🔴 A mom called Sayreville Police to her home for a domestic dispute Thursday night

🔴 Her husband left the house with their 9-year-old son

🔴 The boy was found dead in the back of a car on fire doused with gasoline

🔴 Mayor Kennedy O'Brien calls for "special prayers" on Good Friday

UPDATE WITH NEW DETAILS: Dad has been charged with murder

SAYREVILLE — A domestic dispute Thursday night led to the horrific discovery of a burning car with the body of a 9-year-old boy.

The vehicle was found at Sayreville War Memorial High School, where the boy was pronounced dead.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said Sayreville police were called to a home on Eisenhower Drive around 10:45 p.m. by a woman who had been injured in the dispute.  She told police that it led to Manual Rivera, 43, leaving the house with their son.

Ciccone did not disclose the nature of the dispute.

Police found Rivera's burning vehicle 3 miles away behind the school on Washington Road with the boy inside the vehicle, which was doused with gasoline, according to Ciccione. Rivera was outside with burn injuries and a self-inflicted wound.

The boy was pronounced dead at the school while Rivera was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

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Map shows Eisenhower Drive and Sayreville War Memorial High School
Map shows Eisenhower Drive and Sayreville War Memorial High School (Canva)

Dad works for the Sayreville school district

Rivera was charged with second-degree aggravated arson with additional charges pending the completion of an autopsy.

Sayreville School Superintendent Richard Labbe said in a statement said Rivera is a school district employee and his son was a student at the Wilson School. The superintendent did not disclose his position.

Counseling will be available at the Wilson School Monday. School is closed Friday for the Good Friday holiday.

Ciccione asked anyone with information or surveillance video of the incident to call her office at 732-745-3289.

Mayor calls for special prayers

Sayreville Mayor Kennedy O'Brien told New Jersey 101.5 he has asked all the churches in the borough to do special prayers during Good Friday for the family.

"This was a terrible incident which was something that happened within a family going through duress. There are many things you can prevent and there are certain things that are beyond our powers and capabilities. But Sayreville is a safe community and we are taking care of our people, particularly on this holy weekend," O'Brien said.

Sayreville borough council member Eunice Dwumfour was fatally shot as she sat in her SUV in front of her condo on Feb. 1. Rashid Ali Bynum, 29, was arrested on May 30, 2022 in Portsmouth, Virginia and charged with her death.

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