A co-worker who witnessed the fatal incident told a local news outlet Philip Mathew allegedly drove over Merin Joy "like she was a speed bump"

By Chris Harris
July 30, 2020 12:54 PM
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Merin Joy
Merin Joy Facebook

A 26-year-old Florida nurse serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic was killed Tuesday morning, allegedly by her abusive husband. He is accused of stabbing her repeatedly before running her over in his car.

PEOPLE confirms Philip Mathew, 34, of Wixon, Michigan, is accused of killing Merin Joy, his estranged wife and the mother of their toddler daughter.

The longtime nurse was headed for her car after her last shift at Broward Health Coral Springs.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Joy was on the verge of starting a new life away from her allegedly abusive husband in a different part of the state when she was killed. The paper also reports that Joy was divorcing Mathew, whom she married in India in 2016.

Tuesday's fatal incident was not the first time Mathew was allegedly violent towards his wife.

In 2018, Coral Springs officers responded to the couple's home after Mathew allegedly threatened to kill Joy and himself, reports the Sun Sentinel.

A statement from Coral Springs Police describes the scene on Tuesday: "At approximately 7:38 a.m., Coral Springs Dispatch received a 911 call from Broward Health Coral Springs, about a possible stabbing and hit and run in progress.

"Once officers arrived on the scene, contact was made with the victim, Merin Joy, age 26, who was in the west parking lot with multiple stab wounds. Rescue arrived on the scene and transported the victim to Broward Health North for treatment where she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital."

Philip Mathew
Coral Springs Police Department

The statement continues: "The incident is believed to be part of a domestic dispute that was ongoing between the suspect and the victim."

According to the paper, several of Joy's co-workers witnessed the violence, with one telling a reporter Mathew drove over his wife "like she was a speed bump."

As they rushed to her side to render medical aid, Joy cried to them, over and over, "I have a baby," the Sun Sentinel reports.

Police rode in the ambulance with Joy, who was conscious enough to identify her estranged husband as her attacker.

She was pronounced dead a little more than two hours later.

Police arrested Mathew at a Coral Springs hotel a few hours after the fatal stabbing, finding him suffering from "a self-inflicted knife wound."

Mathew was transported to an area hospital for treatment.

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He has been charged with first-degree murder, and remains in custody without bond.

At this point, he has yet to enter a plea to the single count against him, and at press time, information regarding his lawyer was unavailable.

Coral Springs Police Crimes Against Persons Unit is still actively investigating the incident and asks that anyone with any information about the incident contact Detective Jeff Payne at (954) 346-1757.