A Tribeca college student admitted Friday to murdering his mother and disposing of her mutilated corpse in a garbage container.
Jared Eng, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder more than three years after the gory killing of his mother, Paula Chin, inside her apartment on Vestry St. near Hudson St. in lower Manhattan. Prosecutors said the young man’s motive was to accelerate his inheritance.
Eng faces a minimum of 18 years to life in prison and a maximum of 22 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in October.
“This was a brutal and shocking murder of the defendant’s own mother, and while nothing can undo this tragedy, today’s guilty plea represents an important step towards justice,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said Friday.
Chin, 65, was stabbed in the neck and cracked multiple times on the head sometime around Jan. 31, 2019.
In the aftermath, Eng and one of two women with whom he was in a polyamorous relationship discarded his mother’s remains in a garbage container at her suburban home in Morris Township, N.J.
At the time of the killing, Eng lived with his mom and worked part-time while taking his final class at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Authorities previously said Chin might have been trying to kick Eng out of the family home. His father died of cancer when he was a child.
After the killing, Eng researched how to dispose of a corpse. At one point, he Googled “diy bone meal.” According to prosecutors, he also changed the passwords on his mom’s bank accounts and searched for inheritance lawyers.
Eng ultimately disposed of his mother with help from his two girlfriends, whom prosecutors also charged in the case. In a phone call after the gory killing, Eng told one of them Chin “took a while to die.”
“It’s done,” he wrote in a text message after killing his mother, according to court records.
“I’m free,” the then-22-year-old wrote, adding that he “got rid of [his] problem.”
Police recovered bloody rubber gloves and duct tape at Chin’s properties in Manhattan and Morris Township. One of Eng’s girlfriends, Jennifer Lopez, allegedly helped him sanitize the blood-spattered murder scene and then drove the victim’s 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser 35 miles to Jersey, with Chin inside a blood-soaked duffel bag in the trunk.
“It’s all clean,” Lopez texted her and Eng’s other girlfriend, Caitlyn O’Rourke, of the scene. “The hardest part was backing up the car.”
The cases against Lopez and O’Rourke, who prosecutors say laundered bloody clothing brought from the Tribeca apartment, are still pending. Eng met O’Rourke at SUNY New Paltz.
O’Rourke previously told The News that the nightmare experience was “like in a movie.”
Eng reported his mom missing days after the killing and was arrested days later along with his girlfriends. He described being suicidal in the delirious first days behind bars after his arrest and hearing his girlfriends crying in an adjoining room when first interrogated by the police.
He denied having any reason to kill his mom.
“She gave me everything,” he insisted. “If I needed anything, she gave it to me. Money? She gave it to me.”
Eng’s lawyer, Joel Cohen, did not return a request seeking comment.