Caldwell College Grad's Autopsy Results May Take Weeks, Prosecutor Says

Medical examiner awaits toxicology results on Melissa Pereira, 25, and Jorge Rodriguez, 24, who were found dead Sunday.

Jorge Rodriguez, 24, and Melissa Pereira, 25 / Photo courtesy of New Jersey State Police
Jorge Rodriguez, 24, and Melissa Pereira, 25 / Photo courtesy of New Jersey State Police

Autopsy results for a couple found dead in a Wayne garage this weekend will not be ready for weeks, the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday.

Melissa Pereira, 25, a 2011 Caldwell College grad, and Jorge Rodriguez, 24, of Garfield, were found dead inside a garage outside Perira’s Wayne home at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

A medical examiner conducting the autopsies needs the results of toxicology tests before making a decision on the manner and cause of death, Passaic County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Michael DeMarco said.

The results of the test typically take two or three weeks to come back, he said.

“The medical examiner will not make a decision until those results are known,” DeMarco said. “We anticipate in two to three weeks we’ll have more information and a better idea of the manner and cause of death at that time.”

It is not known how long the bodies were inside the garage. The couple was reportedly together for three years and believed to be happy. Police said during the investigation there was no reason to believe they were in "jeopardy." They were last seen at Perira’s home Dec. 27. They were reported missing Dec. 30.

The couple was supposed to visit a bed and breakfast in the Pocono Mountains, but they never checked in.

Pereira’s cell phone had been used sporadically after the couple was reported missing but was quickly turned off each time. The couple’s families have said little since the bodies were discovered.

The Wayne Police Department and Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating the deaths.

A memorial service for Pereira will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Caldwell College chapel.


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