A New Jersey woman has been arrested and charged in connection with the deaths of her two children, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Yuhwei Chou, 36, stands accused of two counts of murder in the first degree over the as-yet-unexplained deaths of 7-year-old Samantha Ross and 10-month-old Paul Ross, her daughter and son, respectively, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.
In a press release, authorities noted that Chou hails from Skillman, N.J. and that the mysterious incident involving the defendant’s “biological children” occurred in Hillsborough Township earlier this week.
According to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson, police responded to a 911 call just before 8 a.m. on Monday about a car that had veered off of Mountain View Road and was no longer moving.
“Upon arrival responding Officers encountered the female driver identified as Yuhwei Chou,” the DA’s office alleged. “The Officers observed two children secured in a booster seat and a baby seat in the back seat of the vehicle. Officers observed that the children were bound and restrained. No vital signs were present on the children and they were pronounced deceased at the scene.”
A task force of several different law enforcement organizations from the area and the broader Garden State including the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, the Crime Scene Investigations Unit, Hillsborough Township Police, Montgomery Township Police, and the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office were dispatched to the crime scene and an investigation determined that Chou had “caused the deaths of her two children Samantha and Paul,” according to Robertson.
While the alleged manner of death was quickly established by authorities, there is currently no public indication as to what specific injury led to either child’s death. An autopsy is currently scheduled to ascertain additional details about the case.
“The circumstances leading to the events which caused the deaths of the two children are under investigation by authorities,” Robertson’s office added.
No motive has been released or speculated on as of this writing.
A homicide investigation is reportedly ongoing, according to CBS New York reporter Cory James.
#BREAKING: Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office says this Montgomery Township mother, Yuhwei Chou, killed her two kids — 7yo and 10 mos. They were found in the back seat of a car. She’s been arrested and a homicide investigation is ongoing. We’re working to learn more @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/lN6muHoGto
— Cory James (@CoryJamesTV) November 9, 2021
Police did not initially say who made the 911 call that led to the gruesome discovery, but WLNY reported that a tow truck driver stopped to assist the defendant’s car that was stuck in a ditch when he saw the children with their hands bound.
“He was shook up,” the tow truck driver’s father told the TV station. “He said he found a lady in the ditch and said he asked her if she was all right and she said no, I think. And then he seen the babies and then he called the cops right away. That’s just sick. I don’t know how you do that.”
According to MyCentralJersey, the defendant is being held without bail at the Somerset County Jail for the time being. She could find her way free pre-trial, however, pending a detention hearing that is slated to follow a medical clearance being issued by a nearby hospital.
If convicted as charged, Chou faces the possibility of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the first 35 years of any potential sentence. New Jersey does not have the death penalty.
Law&Crime reached out to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office for additional details and comment on this story, but no response was immediately forthcoming at the time of publication.
[image via Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office]
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