Man Captured on Parkway After Bludgeoning Two Children
to Death in Manahawkin and Kidnapping Their Mother at Knifepoint
Wall Township, NJ - At approximately 4:00 a.m. this morning, state troopers on the Garden State Parkway captured an illegal Mexican immigrant accused of murdering two children in a home's basement on Thursday. The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office has identified the children as Zabdiel Gonzalez, 7, and Karlo Gonzalez, 14, of Manahawkin. The accused, Richard Toledo, 24, was living as a border in the Gonzalez home.
After the murders, Toledo is believed to have kidnapped the children's mother, Wanda Gonzalez, at knifepoint and forced her to withdraw cash from an ATM on Route 72. Toledo then headed north on the Parkway where he stopped for gas at the Monmouth service area (mile marker 100). At that location, the children's mother escaped from her abductor and summoned help, causing him to flee into the woods near the service area.
Troopers from the Garden State Parkway, responded along with the Southstar helicopter, Canine Unit members, T.E.A.M.S. (tactical unit) and several local police departments including Neptune, Wall and Tinton Falls. Troopers quickly established a security perimeter and command post to coordinate the search effort.
The suspect used a mobile phone to call 911 and was patched through to the incident commander, Lt. Tony Sempkowski. Sempkowski used Spanish-speaking Tpr. Eliecer Ayala from the Parkway to communicate with Toledo. Tpr. Ayala was trying to convince Toledo to surrender when the phone connection was lost. Ayala then drove around the area using the troop car P.A. system.
The additional communications worked, and Toledo emerged from the woods on the northbound side of the road just east of the service area. He was then arrested without incident and turned over to members of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
The crimes are being investigated by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office who is releasing more information on the case.
Tpr. Ayala, 34, is a Passaic County resident. He has been a trooper for nine years and is one of three brothers who are New Jersey State Troopers.
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