Told to Return Keys, Killer Used Them to Enter House: Police

Au pair's ex-boyfriend is charged in two slayings
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2019 5:48 PM CDT
Told to Return Keys, Killer Used Them to Enter House: Police
Joseph Porter has been charged in the deaths of an au pair and her employer at his suburban home in northern New Jersey.   (Essex County Prosecutor's Office via AP)

Instead of returning house keys to the girlfriend who wanted to break up with him, a New Jersey man allegedly used the keys to enter a suburban house and stab the au pair's employer to death. He then chased the woman down a street and killed her too, court documents say. Joseph Porter, 27, is charged with murder in the deaths of Karen Bermudez-Rodriguez, 26, and David Kimowitz, 40, reports. Kimowitz managed comedians and owned a comedy club in Manhattan; his wife and two young children were out of town at the time. Bermudez-Rodriguez, who was from Colombia, per the New York Times, lived with the family. "She enjoyed being an au pair and was grateful to have such a lovely host family,” reads a statement posted on a Facebook fundraiser page, which added that "Karen had pursued the au pair program to advance her English skills and to travel, which she loved."

Bermudez-Rodriguez and Porter had texted about 1:30am Saturday, saying she wanted him to return the house keys. Hours later, the documents say he told police, Porter used the keys to enter the Maplewood house, then found Kimowitz on the second floor, where he stabbed him. He tied Bermudez-Rodriguez's hands, but she broke away and got several hundred feet away, down the street. Porter caught her, stabbed her, and fled, officials say. A neighbor saw the attack and called 911. Police arrested Porter at the Newark airport trying to take a flight to Cancun, Mexico. Friends and business associates posted tributes to Kimowitz on social media, and friends held a vigil in honor of Bermudez-Rodriguez on Sunday night. Her mother called the group from Colombia. "Her mom told us, 'Thank you for being there for my daughter. I love you all,'" one friend said. "We all cried." (More double homicide stories.)

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