VENTNOR CITY, N.J. – A New Jersey woman reportedly bludgeoned her mother and grandmother to death with a nightstick, leaving the lifeless bodies inside a blood-spattered, high-rise apartment. Moreover, she used the murdered victim’s cash and credit cards to live it up in Atlantic City and New York City following the murders.
Heather Barbera, 42, reportedly confessed to the July 7 murders of her mother, 67-year-old Michelle Gordon, and grandmother, 81-year-old Elaine Rosen, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“It was horrible,” Barbera’s uncle, Richard Rosen, told the Inquirer. “They were both on the floor. There was blood all over. I was hoping they were alive, even though they were dead.”
Authorities closed in on Barbera four days after the slayings, using the stolen credit cards to track her to midtown Manhattan.
She made purchases with the cards as she walked toward Times Square, leaving detectives a trail of virtual breadcrumbs that eventually led them to Barbera sitting on steps near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, sources told The New York Post.
Surveillance video showed Barbera leaving the women’s Ventnor condo on July 7. Authorities say she later went to Atlantic City, then to New York.
Currently jailed at the Rose M. Singer Center, a women’s facility on Rikers Island, Barbera is set to be extradited to New Jersey to be tried on murder and robbery charges, the Inquirer reported. Officials said she is in protective custody at the facility.
She declined to waive an extradition hearing in New York City, which is set for Aug. 8 in Manhattan.
Barbera’s lawyer, Ariel Schneller of the Legal Aid Society in New York, declined to comment on the charges Wednesday.
Rosen has said that his niece had emotional problems and that he believes she was addicted to prescription pills.
“It’s unimaginable,” he said in an earlier interview. “It was horrible. They were both on the floor. There was blood all over. I was hoping they were alive, even though they were dead.”