Alleged Hudson Valley 7-11 Killer Found Dead in Jail
A Hudson Valley man accused of killing a pregnant mother and injuring six young children at 7-Eleven was found dead in prison.
Back in February 2019, police responded to reports about a man who purposely drove his car into a family of eight who were standing in front of a 7-Eleven in Garnerville. The driver was identified as then 35-year-old Jason Mendez of Washingtonville.
Mendez got into an argument with the family, police say. He then allegedly got into his car, which was parked at the 7-Eleven, hit all eight members of the family with his car, put the car in reverse and drove over the family members a second time.
CBS reports the father of the family asked Mendez to not blow smoke in his children's faces.
The eight family members consisted of a 35-year-old man, a 32-year-old woman and six children ranging in age from infant to 10 years old, police say.
The 32-year-old woman, Melissa DeLoatch, the children's mother, died from her injuries at a hospital. She has been called a hero for jumping in front of the car and taking the brunt of the car's impact, saving her children's lives.
On Thursday, Mendez, now 36, was found dead in his Rockland County jail cell. According to the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, Mendez was found alone in his cell. His death is being investigated as a hanging.
He was turned over to the Rockland County Medical Examiner’s Office, to determine the cause of death. The Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the incident.