your connection to The Boston Globe

Man held in N.J. killings, abduction

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- A woman abducted from a Jersey shore home where her two sons were found bludgeoned to death managed to escape from her captor and run to a gas station for help, authorities said yesterday.

A suspect in the case was charged yesterday.

The woman's former husband had called police Thursday night after she called him by cellphone, saying she had been kidnapped and forced to withdraw money from an ATM. He went to the home and found the bodies of his slain sons in the basement.

Ocean County Prosecutor Thomas Kelaher said yesterday that the boys, ages 7 and 14, had been beaten to death with a hammer.

The boys' mother, Wanda Gonzalez, had been bound with neckties and wires and taken away in her minivan, but she managed to struggle free as her abductor drove down the Garden State Parkway, authorities said. When he stopped at a gas station, she began screaming and ran to the station.

The suspect ran into a wooded area but was captured early yesterday. Richard Toledo Gonzalez, 24, described as an illegal immigrant unrelated to the family, was charged with two counts of murder, kidnapping, and robbery and ordered held on $2 million bail.

During a brief court appearance, he stared straight down and answered in Spanish. At one point, a man identified by court personnel as a relative of the slain children pointed to Gonzalez and yelled in Spanish, ''Why can't you look into my eyes?"

His public defender, Eugenia Lynch, said outside court that her client was overwhelmed by the proceedings.

Richard Gonzalez had been living with the family since October, Kelaher said.

Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives