Missing New Jersey Woman's Mom Fears She's Dead

Police in Emerson say the investigation into the disappearance of a mother of three who vanished more than two weeks ago is starting to stall, and the woman's mother said she fears her daughter is dead.

"My daughter and I were extremely close and, if she could, there's no way she wouldn't have contacted me," Sophia Stellatos, the mother of Liza Murphy, told the Record of Bergen County for Monday editions.

Murphy, 42, went missing Aug. 19, without taking her pocket book, cell phone, credit cards or cigarettes; Later that week her husband, Joseph, was seriously injured when he threw himself in front of a car.

Police Sgt. George Buono said authorities continue to interview friends of the Murphys but acknowledged that the "investigation is starting to stall somewhat."

Despite trouble in their marriage, Stellatos said her daughter wasn't cheating on her husband. Stellatos said Joseph Murphy was extremely controlling over his wife.

"Nothing she ever did was right," Stellatos said. "She wasn't allowed to have any friends."

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Joseph Murphy, Joseph Rem, said last week that Liza Murphy's parents only received one version of the Murphys' marriage and that its "important to remember that any parent or any close friend never sees the true relationship."

Rem said his client will begin the long rehabilitation this week.

"There's just so much misery in this case to go around," Rem said.