Michael Mulgrew, 34, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of his parents, Eugene Mulgrew, 71, and Cheryl Mulgrew, 69, in Barnegat, New Jersey. The couple was found stabbed to death in their home on Lincoln Avenue on November 2. The victims had asked their son to help with household chores, which allegedly led to an argument and subsequent violence.
According to the affidavit in the case, Cheryl Mulgrew had contacted the Barnegat Police Department and Mobile Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services the night before the incident, requesting an evaluation of her son due to his reported mental health issues. Michael Mulgrew had left the house but returned, and Cheryl called the police to report that he had calmed down.
On the morning of November 2, the Mobile Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services discovered blood throughout the house, a bloody knife in the bedroom, and the bodies of Cheryl and Eugene Mulgrew. A neighbor’s Ring video captured screams coming from the residence at 10:40 a.m. Michael Mulgrew had left the house by the time the police arrived, prompting a manhunt and lockdown of schools in Barnegat and neighboring Stafford. He was later apprehended without incident in Barnegat.
During police questioning, Mulgrew admitted to a history of drug use, including acid, opiates, and marijuana. He claimed to have experienced a “drug-induced psychosis” in 2018 while living in Vietnam. Mulgrew stated that he became angry when his parents asked him to do chores and subsequently punched them. He then retrieved a knife from the kitchen and stabbed his mother in the neck and heart. His father was stabbed while attempting to protect his wife. Mulgrew confessed to dragging their bodies into the bedroom, taking a shower, and leaving the house before encountering the police.
Mulgrew’s virtual detention hearing on Wednesday ended abruptly when he refused to answer a judge’s question about understanding his rights. A subsequent hearing scheduled for Thursday was canceled due to Mulgrew experiencing an “acute mental health episode.”
The investigation into the case is ongoing, and Mulgrew remains in custody.