Karen Bermudez-Rodriguez wanted to break up with her boyfriend. And she wanted him to give back her keys.
Ms. Bermudez-Rodriguez, a 26-year-old au pair who lived with a family in a New Jersey suburb, exchanged text messages with the boyfriend, Joseph Porter, on Saturday at about 1:30 a.m., according to court documents.
Less than five hours later, Mr. Porter used the keys Ms. Bermudez-Rodriguez had previously given him to enter the home of her employer, and stabbed him to death, according to the authorities.
He then bound Ms. Bermudez-Rodriguez’s hands. When she fled, he chased her down the street with a knife.
The new details about the double homicide emerged on Monday as residents in Maplewood, N.J., a suburb 20 miles west of New York City, grappled with comprehending the loss that had struck the tight-knit community. A memorial of bouquets and notes cropped up near the township’s train station. “I love you, Karen. Thank you for being part of our lives,” one note read.
Mr. Porter, 27, of Elizabeth, N.J., was arrested on Sunday and charged with the murders of Ms. Bermudez-Rodriguez and her employer, David Kimowitz, 40, who managed comedians and owned the Stand Restaurant and Comedy Club, a comedy venue near Gramercy Park in Manhattan. Mr. Kimowitz’s wife and two young daughters were out of town at the time of the attacks, the authorities said.
Mr. Porter was detained on Sunday at Newark Liberty International Airport while, according to the police, he was attempting to flee the country for Cancún, Mexico. He was taken to the prosecutor’s office in Essex County, where the authorities noted he had visible marks and scratches around his neck, according to court records released on Monday.
According to the records, Mr. Porter told officers that he went to a home on Walton Road in Maplewood early on Saturday and stabbed Mr. Kimowitz in a second-floor bedroom. After Ms. Bermudez-Rodriguez fled — her hands bound with tape — Mr. Porter caught up with her on the street, 300 feet outside her employer’s residence, on Woodland Road, and stabbed her with a knife.