New Jersey

NJ Mother, 2 Kids Killed After Landlord Didn't Change Locks, Lawsuit Alleges

Ruth Esther Reyes de Severino "begged" the Penns Grove Gardens apartment complex in New Jersey to change her locks after she won a restraining order against her husband

changing locks apartment key
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

A New Jersey woman "begged" her apartment complex to change the locks on her door after she was granted a restraining order against her husband. The complex failed to fulfill her request, and she and two children were fatally stabbed in their home, a lawsuit filed on the family's behalf claims.

The woman, Ruth Esther Reyes de Severino, and her children, Eurianny, 5, and Eury, 2, were killed on Feb. 5, 2020. Police found the bodies in the family's Penns Grove Gardens apartment after they discovered the remains of Reyes de Severino's husband, Eugenio Severino, in a nearby park, according to the lawsuit, which was obtained by NBC News.

The lawsuit claims that Eugenio Severino died by suicide after he murdered his family. Penns Grove police did not immediately reply to a request for comment Tuesday.

The lawsuit, filed last month in Salem County Superior Court, alleges wrongful death, negligence, breach of contract and negligent hiring. "Ruth Reyes de Severino asked, nay, begged, Defendant Landlord Penns Grove Apartments LLC ... to change the locks on the door to her apartment such that her husband could not gain entry," the lawsuit says.

The apartment complex and its operator did not immediately reply to a request for comment Tuesday.

Read the full story on here. 

Anyone affected by domestic violence can receive help, advice, information or crisis intervention by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visiting the website

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to for additional resources. 

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