Dead 9-year-old boy found in burning car

SAYREVILLE, NJ – A shocking incident unfolded in Sayreville, leading to the death of a 9-year-old boy and the serious injury of his father. The tragic events were reported as police moved in on a domestic dispute late in the evening.

Around 10:45 p.m., law enforcement officers responded to reports of a domestic dispute where they encountered a distressed woman. She informed the officers that 43-year-old Manuel Rivera had left their home with their 9-year-old son.

Simultaneously, fire services received a distress call concerning a vehicle fire close to Sayreville War Memorial High School. On arriving at Washington Road, responders found Rivera next to a gasoline-soaked vehicle, which was on fire. His material condition included burns and an apparently self-inflicted injury. Inside the flaming vehicle was the deceased boy.

Currently receiving treatment for his injuries, Rivera has been charged with aggravated arson. The charges are likely to expand following the results of the autopsy, which will be performed on the boy by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner.

The traumatic incident has impacted the local community, marked by the official statement from Sayreville’s Mayor, Kennedy O’Brien. The mayor described the close-knit town as profoundly shaken by the horrific incident which involved senseless violence against a child.

While ensuring that the tight-knit community remains safe, Mayor O’Brien asserted that a comprehensive investigation into the incident is underway. He reached out to those affected by the tragedy, reiterating that Sayreville stands in unity with the child’s family and friends as they grapple with this unimaginable circumstance.