A New Jersey father of 11 was stabbed to death in front of his 8-year-old son, in a bizarre case involving an eviction, a pair of sneakers and a jacket, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation.
Jose Malave, 30, was found dead in the doorway of his Jersey City apartment Tuesday evening, police said. A 17-year-old boy has been arrested, accused of felony murder and murder as a juvenile in his death, and an arrest warrant has been issued for a second suspect, 19-year-old Nasir Day of Newark.
Law enforcement sources said one of the suspect's friends was in the process of being evicted from his own home, somewhere else in Jersey City. That friend's belongings ended up on a sidewalk; someone sold them.
Malave purchased some of the items, including a jacket and sneakers. The evicted friend and the suspect saw Malave walking back to his home Tuesday with his son and recognized the items, the sources said. Words were exchanged.
The suspect's demanded his belongings back, according to the sources. He told Malave to "give me my stuff," and Malave responded, "It's not your stuff," the sources said. Then Malave was stabbed to death.
The young man's sisters broke down as they spoke to News 4 Thursday.
"I look down the street to see if he's coming and he's not even coming," said one. "To know that he's not gonna come, to know that I won't be able to tell him I love him, hug him, this is crazy."
Another sister said she was in the home, along with four of her brother's children, when he was killed. She could barely speak through her tears, but described a trio of attackers with knives, one of whom punched her.
Relatives created a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses and childcare. On it, they wrote, "It is a painful loss to our family and friends. It is a pain that we do not wish on anyone."
The name of the 17-year-old boy arrested has not been released. He faces charges of armed burglary and weapons possession in addition to the murder offenses. It's not clear if prosecutors expect to make other arrests.
It's not clear if Day has been identified as the evicted friend. Anyone with information on the man's whereabouts should call the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office Homicide unit at 201-915-1345.