NJ Parents Tried To Get Son Psychiatric Help Right Before He Killed Them, Police Say

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, Cheryl Mulgrew called police seeking a psychiatric evaluation for her 34-year-old son, Michael Mulgrew, who had been experiencing a mental health problem, police documents say.

<p>Cheryl and Eugene Mulgrew and their son, Michael.</p>

Cheryl and Eugene Mulgrew and their son, Michael.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Mulgrew Facebook/Ocean County Jail

But Michael Mulgrew came home later that night seeming calm, and so Cheryl, 69, told police not to bother, and she'd take him to the doctors in the morning, the affidavit says.

Around 11 a.m. the following day, one of Mulgrew's parents called police again seeking a psychiatric evaluation, according to police papers. There, they found Cheryl and her husband, Michael's 71-year-old dad, Eugene Mulgrew, dead.

According to their obituary, Mr. and Mrs. Mulgrew were childhood sweethearts. Their son, Michael, was later charged with two counts of murder and various weapons offenses in their deaths, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said at the time of the arrest.

Review of a neighbor's Ring doorbell footage captured screams coming from the home just before police responded.

In a subsequent interview with police, 34-year-old Mulgrew said he had an incident of drug-induced psychosis in 2018, while living in Vietnam, according to an affidavit obtained by Daily Voice.

Mulgrew told investigators that he has used opiates, acid and marijuana, and uses marijuana regularly now, police papers say. He had used marijuana four days before the killings, the paperwork says.

Further, Mulgrew told police his mom told him he was going to go to the hospital, and he believed that his family was going to hurt him, sending him into a schizophrenic state, the police paperwork shows.

And so, Mulgrew left the house, police said. When he returned, his parents laid out new rules, saying he wasn't allowed to leave, according to the affidavit.

The next morning began as usually but took a turn when Mulgrew's parents asked him to do some chores, "which caused him to become angry," police paperwork shows. 

Mulgrew punched both of his parents in the living room before getting a knife from the kitchen, stabbing his mother in the neck and heart, according to the affidavit. Mulgrew said his dad was trying to protect his mom, so he did the same to him, the affidavit says.

Mulgrew dragged both of their bodies to their bedroom before taking a shower and packing a backpack with four water bottles, a towel, and a book, police papers say. 

Cheryl Mulgrew had contacted police again on Nov. 2, seeking mental help for her son, the affidavit said. Officers arriving just before 11 a.m. noticed blood stains on the door. 

Meanwhile, Mulgrew had left and was making his way up Lincoln Avenue toward Bengal Boulevard, the affidavit says. He went into a wooded area, where he left his backpack, and was soon-after met by police. The search for Mulgrew caused a lockdown of local schools. 

Police responding to the 9-1-1 call noticed blood stains on the door. Officers forced their way into the house where they found Mr. and Mrs. Mulgrew's bodies in a bedroom, more blood stains, and a blood-stained knife near the bedroom, police previously said.

Cheryl and Eugene Mulgrew were Bloomfield natives who later moved to Barnegat where they raised their son Michael and daughter Michelle, their obituary says.

Eugene, or Geno, as he was affectionately called, worked in public health for 40 years, and was passionate about his "with no plans to retire," his obit says. He became friends with many of his clients, who mourned their unexpected yet fruitful friendships on social media.

"Together, they created a home filled with warmth, laughter, and love," the obit reads. "Their unwavering bond was a beacon of love and support, touching the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing them."

Cheryl, who went by Sherrie, "never missed a birthday," her obit reads. And while she worked at various local businesses throughout her life, "her most cherished roles were that of wife, mother and friend."

Click here for Cheryl and Eugene Mulgrew's complete obituary.

Michael Mulgrew was lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

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