PENNSVILLE, NJ. — Indian-American Nitin P. Singh allegedly stabbed his wife 30 times and then called 911 to report she was not breathing, New Jersey news portal NJ.com reported. Singh, 46, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Seema Singh, 42, in their Pennsville, NJ, apartment.
Singh made a call to Salem County 911 around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to NJ.com. “Yeah, can you send help to 144 North Broadway?” he says in a recording of the call obtained by New Jersey Advance Media. Asked what his emergency is, he said “my wife is not breathing.”
Pressed for more details by the 911 public safety telecommunicator handling his call, he says his wife is unconscious, NJ.com reported.
The incident took place in an apartment on North Broadway in Pennsville Township early Tuesday morning last week. The couple’s three children were sleeping in the apartment at the time, NJ.com said.
Pennsville police officers were the first to arrive on the scene at the Singhs’ apartment in the rear of the multi-unit brick building where they lived and found Singh standing over his wife’s lifeless body. His clothing, arms and hands were bloody, according to Pennsville Township Chief of Police Allen J. Cummings, NJ.com said. Singh was taken into custody there.
Authorities believe some sort of domestic dispute may have been to blame for the killing, although they have not offered an official motive, according to NJ.com.
The Singh’s three children were sleeping in another area of the apartment at the time of the murder were taken out through a side door so they did not see their mother who was found lying face up on the kitchen floor, NJ.com reported.
According to Cummings, an autopsy showed that Seema Singh had been stabbed “more than 30 times” in the abdomen, chest and face. The chief said that several kitchen utensils, including knives, were taken from the scene as evidence, according to NJ.com.
Cummings said the couple’s three children — two boys, ages 16 and 6, and a girl, age 5 — are staying together with a local family until permanent custody arrangements can be made.
According to the chief, members of Seema Singh’s family and Nitin Singh’s family both arrived from India in the United States on Friday morning. Cummings met with them and all eight of those relatives went together to visit Nitin Singh at the Salem County Correctional Facility in Mannington Township where he is being held on $1 million cash bail, according to NJ.com.
The Singhs owned the Quick Stop Deli in Collingswood. After news of Seema Singh’s death spread, there was a vigil held outside the closed deli. A large number of loyal customers left flowers and other items as a tribute to Seema Singh there, according to NJ.com.
In addition to first-degree murder, Singh was charged with, second-degree aggravated assault, fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and fourth-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, according to NJ.com .