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Couple'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 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. Pereira is a 2011 graduate of the college.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Scondo January 21, 2014 at 02:45 PM
Really! They are missing and no one thought to check the garage ?
eyes wide shut January 21, 2014 at 03:20 PM
Lets ALL wait till ALL the facts are out before we make conclusions and cast judgements....
Justice January 21, 2014 at 11:14 PM
The facts are in. 2 people dead. No one looked in the garage. Malpractice at its best.
eyes wide shut January 22, 2014 at 04:42 PM
Malpractice? lol ok...If in fact they did find them in the garage, would they be alive today? Malpractice???? How does anyone know they didn't check the garage when they were FIRST reported missing? Could they have come back to the Garage? No one knows yet...Malpractice??? Geez
Pad January 24, 2014 at 05:43 PM
They were reported missing three days later. They were probably dead by then by CO poisoning. Finding them sooner wouldn't have changed anything. I truly believe their deaths while tragic was an accident. Just two young lovers who wanted some private time and unfortunately closed the garage door and ran the car to keep warm. That's my opinion.

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