A Bronx couple and their 5-year-old son were brutally killed in their Mott Haven apartment, leaving the community in shock. The victims, identified as Jonathan Rivera, 38, his girlfriend Hanoi Peralta, 33, and their young son, Kayden Rivera, were found dead on Sunday morning.
Just hours before the gruesome discovery, the couple had been on a “paint and sip” date night, attempting to mend their relationship. Eusebio Baez, a family friend, revealed that Rivera’s 19-year-old son, a college student in upstate New York, is being eyed by the police as a person of interest and has been taken in for questioning . His identity is yet not revealed. The teen reportedly checked into Westchester County Medical Center after the murders.
Baez expressed bewilderment, stating, “What happened to them doesn’t make any sense.” He recounted that the night before the tragedy, Rivera and Peralta appeared happy during their painting event, sharing their joy on social media.
Rivera, described as a doting father, had been working two jobs, including as a janitor at his son’s school, to support his family. Despite the couple’s split a year ago, they had recently rekindled their relationship, attempting to reconcile.
The discovery of the crime occurred around 6:40 a.m. on Sunday, following a 911 call. Police found Rivera’s lifeless body in the hallway with multiple stab wounds. Subsequently, they broke into the nearby apartment unit and discovered Kayden, viciously stabbed on an air mattress. Peralta, with multiple stab wounds, was found in a bedroom.
According to Baez, Kayden was the youngest of Rivera’s four children. The older son, attending Oswego College on scholarship, is currently under suspicion in the slayings. Baez emphasized that Jonathan Rivera was a solid man, not involved in any trouble and dedicated to his children.
Describing Rivera’s commitment to his family, Baez shared, “He used to bring her [Peralta] out when we had parties and little get-togethers. She was a sweetheart. He loved that woman so much. He worked his ass off just for his kids and spent any little money he had left over. He would spoil her.”
Friends and relatives are grappling for answers as the investigation unfolds, and the community mourns the loss of a loving father, his girlfriend, and their innocent 5-year-old son.