NEW JERSEY — Karen Bermudez-Rodriguez sent her boyfriend a text about 2 a.m. last weekend, breaking up with him and demanding he return the key to her employer’s house in a New Jersey suburb.
Her boyfriend responded immediately, saying he was upset about the end of their relationship, authorities said. About three hours later, Bermudez-Rodriguez, 26, was found fatally stabbed on a street in Maplewood. Her hands were bound by tape.
In a home near where she was found, David Kimowitz, 40, who owns a comedy venue in Manhattan, was also found dead with multiple stab wounds. Bermudez-Rodriguez worked for Kimowitz and his wife as a nanny to their two children, according to the criminal complaint.
Her boyfriend is arrested at the airport
Prosecutors allege the nanny’s boyfriend, Joseph D. Porter, entered the Kimowitz home on August 3 using her key.
Inside, he tied his girlfriend’s hands and stabbed her employer, according to a criminal complaint. She managed to escape and ran down the street, where the suspect chased her down and attacked her with a knife, it says. Kimowitz’s wife and two children were not home, CNN affiliate NY1 reported.
Porter, 27, was arrested at the Newark Liberty International Airport later that morning as he tried to fly to Cancun, Mexico, according to court documents.
Investigators said they recovered video at the scene that showed a man chasing Bermudez-Rodriguez down the street. They also reviewed text messages from her phone, which showed she’d asked for the home key back and he was upset about the breakup, according to authorities.
During her boyfriend’s arrest, investigators noticed visible marks and scratches around his neck, according to court records.
He was arrested and charged with two counts of murder. It’s unclear whether he has entered a plea. His public defender declined to comment when reached by CNN.
911 calls describe a night of horror
In the affluent New Jersey community about 25 miles from New York City, people left roses outside the stately gray home Kimowitz shared with his wife and two daughters.
Police said they responded to the scene after a 911 caller described seeing a woman bleeding on the street.
“Someone needs to come immediately. Someone is dying!” the caller says, according to 911 calls obtained by NY1. “In the street, there’s a woman dying. A guy in a green shirt is running away! I just ran outside. I think she is bleeding to death. I think she may already be dead.”
The dispatcher implores the victim to keep breathing.
“You’re going to be fine. Just hang in there please hang on, please stay here,” the dispatcher says.
A community mourns
Other nannies gathered this week to honor Bermudez-Rodriguez while comedians paid tribute to Kimowitz, who was popular in comedy circles for his stand-up club.
“This is such shocking news. A great guy and friend … He seemed so happy, a wife, 2 kids, his new club opened. And now this … David Kimowitz you will be missed,” comedian Rich Vos tweeted.
In addition to murder charges, Porter is facing weapons charges. He is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility.