Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mother fatally stabbed in S. Jersey home, daughter hurt

Story Highlights
  • Gilbert Villanueva has been charged in the stabbing death of Suzanne Durocher.
  • Villanueva also stabbed Durocher’s daughter who remains in stable condition.
  • The stabbing occurred after Villanueva tried entering the home while Durocher tried getting him to leave.
Gallery: Mother fatally stabbed in S. Jersey home, daughter hurt

Just three days ago, Gilbert Villanueva of Camden made an eerie post on his Facebook page:

"Everyone has two sides, good and evil. How you treat me will determine which side you see :)"

Today, Villanueva, 26, stands charged in the brutal stabbing death of 50-year-old Suzanne Durocher, a Temple University nursing officer. Authorities also say he stabbed her daughter, 22-year-old Kristen Durocher, who is hospitalized but in stable condition.

Villanueva and Kristen Durocher had been in a relationship.

The killing occurred about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday in the Durocher family home on the 100 block of Prospect Street, near Locust Street, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said Villanueva is charged with felony murder, attempted murder, purposeful and knowing murder, and second-degree burglary in the attack. The attack happened after Villanueva allegedly entered the home and Suzanne Durocher tried to get him to leave, prosecutors said.

Durocher was the associate chief nursing officer of operations at Temple University Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree in nursing at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and a master's degree from Villanova University.

A hospital statement said that she had been well-respected leader at the medical center for eight years.

"She eagerly shared with her colleagues her extensive knowledge and commitment ot advanced nursing practice in the delivery of quality, compassionate care to patients," the statement said. "We have lost a wonderful and inspirational colleague whose passion for life and positive energy was expressed every single day."

Both women were stabbed multiple times in the incident, prosecutors said, and Kristen Durocher was being treated at Cooper University Hospital in Camden.

Authorities began questioning Villanueva after he was treated for hand injuries at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital just before 11:30 p.m. Monday. Hospital staff called police after noticing the suspicious injuries, officials said.

Villanueva and Kristen Durocher appear to have been in a relationship earlier this fall, though Villanueva's mood had darkened in recent days, according to posts on his Facebook page.

Early last month, Villanueva wrote of Durocher on the social-networking site: "I am in love with my girl and she is the one for me."

Villanuevo had interacted with her on Facebook as recently as Nov. 4.

"You look very pretty," he wrote in a comment under a photograph.

"Not at all," she replied.

"You right, you are very sexy," he responded. 

Photographs on the site show them hanging out and attending events like Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary.

But Villanueva’s posts soured over the past week.

On Saturday, he posted that he was in Jacksonville, N.C., and said he had "to clear my mind."

Then, on Monday, he wrote "True story" to caption an image that read: "Life has a tendency of [expletive] things up when you finally get to be happy."

Neighbors on the quiet block, across the street from a park and playing fields, said they heard emergency workers arriving at the home Monday night and then the sounds of helicopters overhead.

"She was just a great lady," said neighbor Stephanie Maines, 28.

It is not the first time tragedy has touched the Dorocher family. On Feb. 15, 2011, Robert Durocher, then 52, and husband of Suzanne and father of Kristen, was killed in an industrial accident in Moorestown.

Inquirer staff writer Barbara Boyer contributed to this article.


Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

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