Ranking nurse at TUH murdered in N.J. home

Suspect charged for murder of Suzanne DuRocher, 50, and the attempted murder of her daughter.

A ranking nurse who was a member of  the Temple University Hospital leadership team was found stabbed to death in her New Jersey home Wednesday night, Nov. 13,  in a brutal assault on a mother and daughter, police said after arresting one suspect who was charged with murder.

Suzanne Durocher, 50, was the Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Operations at the hospital, where she worked for the past eight years. According to Camden County Police, Durocher and her daughter Kristen, 22, were found inside their Merchantville, N.J. home Wednesday night, each with multiple stab wounds. Kristen Durocher was taken to Cooper Hospital where she was in stable condition as of Thursday morning.

Gilbert Villanueva, 26, of Camden was arrested by police after admitting himself to Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden just before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night with knife wounds to his hands and arms. Hospital staff alerted police of the suspicious wounds, Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said.

According to a release sent out by the the prosecutor’s office, Villanueva allegedly entered the Durocher’s Prospect Street home around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and was asked by Suzanne Durocher to leave before both Durocher and her daughter were stabbed. Laughlin said Villanueva had a restraining order filed against him by Kristen Durocher on Oct. 27, only to have it withdrawn on Oct. 31.

Villanueva was charged with felony murder, attempted murder ad second degree burglary. He was arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Temple Health Systems released a statement Thursday, which said hospital staff were “shocked and saddened” to learn of the murder.

“We extend our sincerest condolences to her family and friends as they begin to deal with the after-effects of this tragic loss,” the statement read. “For the past eight years, Suzanne has been a vital and well-respected member of the Hospital’s leadership team. She touched each of us … and our patients … in a very special way. She eagerly shared with colleagues her extensive knowledge and commitment to advanced nursing practice in the delivery of quality, compassionate care to patients.”

Jeremy Walter, a spokesman for Temple Hospital, said there are plans being made for a memorial service among faculty members.

John Moritz can be reached at john.moritz@temple.edu or on Twitter @JCMoritzTU.

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