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Caldwell College to Hold Memorial Services for Wayne Resident

Melissa Pereira was a 'talented, beautiful, faith-filled woman and an eloquent defender of life who enriched our lives,' a college press release stated.

Melissa Pereira, 25 / Photo courtesy of New Jersey State Police
Melissa Pereira, 25 / Photo courtesy of New Jersey State Police
Caldwell College will hold memorial services to remember Melissa Pereira, a graduate who was found dead in a Wayne garage this week. 
Melissa Pereira, 25, and her boyfriend Jorge Rodriguez, 24, of Garfield, were found dead inside a parked car in a garage outside her Wayne home Sunday.
Pereira, a Wayne resident, was a "talented, beautiful, faith-filled woman and an eloquent defender of life who enriched our lives," a college press release stated. 
A memorial service for Pereira will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Caldwell College chapel.
A remembrance Mass will be held at 6 a.m. Wednesday in the Cougar Den at the college. The Mass will be held before a bus departs for the March for Life in Washington, D.C., an event Pereira attended annually.
Pereira, a 2011 graduate of the college, was a videographer. She was active in campus ministry and was a leader in the Caldwell College Students for Life club.
The couple was found about 10:30 a.m. Passaic County Assistant Prosecutor Michael DeMarco said. Authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause and manner of death.
It was not immediately known how long the bodies were in the garage. 
The couple was seen at Kmart buying candles the night they disappeared. Pereira, a Caldwell College grad, didn’t take her wallet and left her jacket at home. Rodriguez also did not call out of work.
They booked a reservation in the Pocono Mountains at the Cherry Valley Manor in Stroudsburg, Pa. However, they never checked in at the bed and breakfast.
Over the past few weeks, Pereira's cell phone was in use, but would quickly get turned off.
The state police issued a missing persons alert for the couple on Jan. 13.
A woman reported to the Garfield Police Department that she picked up two people matching the couple's description walking along Route 12 last week.
The woman drove the pair to the Hunterdon County Library in Flemington, which was being used as a warming center, about an hour southwest of Wayne.

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