In a jailhouse interview, Jared Eng described his erratic thoughts
A New York City man charged in connection with his mother’s death denied killing her in a jailhouse interview during which he said he was suicidal and described his erratic thoughts.
Jared Eng, 22, his girlfriend Caitlyn O’Rourke, 21, and friend Jennifer Lopez, 18, have been charged with concealment of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence in the death of Eng’s mother, 65-year-old Paula Chin.
In his interview with the New York Daily News, Eng — who has not been charged with murder — said that while he didn’t kill Chin, he has had conflicting thoughts and pangs of guilt.
“I was feeling suicidal,” Eng said of the days since his arrest Wednesday. “I was hearing these thoughts: ‘What if I did do it?’ Maybe I did do it. Then I don’t deserve to live.”
Chin was reported missing by her other son on Feb. 4. The following day, she was found dead at her second home in Morristown, New Jersey, according to the N.Y.P.D.
She died of multiple blunt impacts to the head and a “stab wound” to the neck, according to the New York City Medical Examiner. Her death was ruled a homicide, but as of Monday afternoon no murder charges have been filed.
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“I didn’t kill her,” Eng told the Daily News, hours before the medical examiner’s ruling. “I want to clear my name.”
While a motive has not been released for Chin’s death, Eng denied reports that it stemmed from money.
“She gave me everything,” he told the paper. “If I needed anything, she gave it to me. Money? She gave it to me.”
Son Allegedly Said Mom Took ‘a While to Die’: Girlfriend
Authorities believe Chin was killed in her apartment in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood before being transported to her Morristown home on Jan. 31, according to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
O’Rourke, who is dating Eng, allegedly told police Eng called her and admitted to killing his mother, saying that it had taken her “a while to die,” according to the complaint. O’Rourke also allegedly told police Lopez admitted to helping Eng move his mother’s body.
Eng told the Daily News he, O’Rourke and Lopez are in a polyamorous relationship. Both Eng and O’Rourke are students at SUNY New Paltz, where they met in 2017. Eng said he and Lopez met last summer while he was a life guard.
Eng told police the last time he saw his mother was on Jan. 31, the paper reports. He talked about being questioned for 24 hours and hearing his the female suspects crying in nearby rooms as he spoke to police.
Recalling a recent family trip to Mexico, Eng said he, his brother and his mother were not having any problems.
“We went to Mexico City to celebrate her retirement,” he said. “We came back so happy. That was this January. January!”
The criminal complaint alleges Eng made two separate trips from Manhattan to Morristown: One on Jan. 31, the other on Feb. 1.
O’Rourke allegedly told police that on Feb. 1, she, Eng and Lopez placed Chin’s body alongside other trash outside her Morristown home, though it was not immediately clear where her body was before then. O’Rourke allegedly admitted to attempting to clean up the scene.
When police searched the property, they found bloody rubber gloves in the garbage and blood stains on the garage floor. During a search of Chin’s Manhattan apartment, bloody gloves and traces of blood were found, the complaint states.
Attorneys for O’Rourke or Lopez could not immediately be reached for comment.
Eng’s attorney, Joel Cohen, could not be reached for comment Friday. In a statement to the New York Times, he said, “The case is in its early stages and will ultimately be resolved in the courtroom, not in the media.”