NEWARK, N.J. – A man strangled a woman in a bathtub and then fatally shot two people at another home the next day but didn't harm any of several children, including one found in a closet and two of his own, prosecutors said.
Jeffrey Holland began his rampage on Friday at the Newark apartment of Tiniquah Rouse, whom he had previously dated, authorities said. The 21-year-old Rouse was found dead of suspected strangulation in her bathtub, and a 5-month-old boy was found safe in a closet, they said.
The boy in the closet was unrelated to Holland, Essex County prosecutor's office spokeswoman Katherine Carter said.
On Saturday, Holland shot to death another woman he previously dated and with whom he had two children, 23-year-old Ashley Jones, prosecutors said. He also killed a man with whom Jones lived, 28-year-old Jarrell Marshall, police said.
Holland and Jones had restraining orders filed against each other, Carter said.
Three young children, including two fathered by Holland, were in Jones' Newark apartment at the time of the killings but were unharmed. Holland is the biological father of a 1-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy found in the home; a 3-year-old girl found there is the daughter of Marshall and another woman.
Holland, of East Orange, was arrested on Tuesday. The 27-year-old Holland faces charges including murder, endangering the welfare of children and contempt of a restraining order, the prosecutor's office said.
He was being held at a jail in Newark in lieu of $2.5 million bail. It was unknown if he had retained an attorney. A message left at a telephone number in his name was not immediately returned.
Essex County acting prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray lamented the killings.
"Our hearts go out to these families, particularly the four young children, one on Friday and three on Saturday, who were present at these heinous murders," Murray said at a press conference.