NJ man sent chilling video to wife before allegedly killing son and torching body: ‘Death does us part’

The New Jersey man charged with murdering his young son and torching the boy’s body in a school parking lot sent a disturbing video to his wife before attempting to take his own life, according to reports.

Manuel Rivera, 43, allegedly owned up to the crime and apologized to his wife in a video message sent just before he carried out the heinous act. He then told her they’d see each other in the afterlife and asked for his remains to be cremated, according to police documents obtained by News 12.

Rivera also left a suicide note at home with a similar message.

“This is how it ends for me and [their son]. I know we couldn’t live without each other. Today is the day that death does us part,” the note read, according to Patch.

The couple had been going through marital trouble before the incident, according to the documents.

Family members called Sayreville police on March 28 to report Rivera and his son missing after the father threatened to kill them both and fled the home following a dispute.

As cops responded to that call, they received reports of a fire at the Sayreville High School around 10:45 p.m.

There officers discovered Rivera’s car burning in the school parking lot with the body of his son inside.

Rivera was also present at the scene, sitting outside the car covered in gasoline with a cut around his neck and burns on his body.

Surveillance footage allegedly showed Rivera pull into the parking lot, then douse the car with gasoline and set it aflame.

It is believed the boy was killed before the burning.

Rivera was hospitalized in critical condition.

He has been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree desecration of human remains, aggravated arson, and endangering the welfare of a child.

The boy was identified as Christian Rivera, according to, who was in the third grade at the Woodrow Wilson School.

A vigil was held for him at the school on Saturday night.

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