While talking to his girlfriend on speakerphone, 22-year-old Jared Eng admitted to killing his mother, adding that it took her "a while to die," according to a criminal complaint released Thursday.
Eng allegedly put his mother's body — contained in a duffel bag — in the trunk of his car, and got his friend, Jennifer Lopez, to drive him to the family's weekend home in New Jersey in the early hours of Jan. 31.
There, Lopez and Eng's girlfriend, Caitlyn O'Rourke, helped him get rid of his mother's body in a garbage bin, the complaint alleged.
Eng, O'Rourke, 21, and Lopez, 18, were charged with concealment of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Eng is also likely to face murder charges, prosecutors said during the trio's arraignment early Thursday morning.
Authorities believe that Eng, a student at SUNY New Paltz, and his mother, Paula Chin, had recently argued about him moving out of the family's Tribeca home on Vestry Street, the New York Daily News reported.
Eng was seen on surveillance video carrying a duffel bag–like container at around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 31 and dumping it into the trunk of a gray 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser parked outside his family's residence, authorities said. The video also showed Lopez backing the car in and out of the parking space.
"it's all clean," Lopez said in a text message to O'Rourke. "The hardest part was backing up the car."
Police later found blood on the carpet and blanket of the trunk along with Chin's clothing and duct tape.
O'Rourke later told authorities that Eng and Lopez called her on speakerphone and Eng admitted to killing his mother and transporting her body to New Jersey. During the conversation, Eng also told O'Rourke that it took his mother a "while to die."
O'Rourke admitted to investigators that she and Lopez returned on Feb. 1 to Eng's New Jersey house, where they took Chin's body — which was stuffed in a garbage bag — and put it in a garbage container on the property. She also told authorities that she and Eng washed clothing that they had brought with them from Eng's Manhattan residence.
Eng later told police that he had last seen his mother during the early hours of Jan. 31. He denied killing her and said that he had visited the family's home in New Jersey to get his antique coin collection, which he planned to sell for rent money, the Daily News cited prosecutors as saying.
At Eng's New Jersey home, authorities recovered duct tape, bloody rubber gloves in the garbage, swabs of bloodstains on the floor, and female human remains inside the garbage bin, the complaint said.
The duct tape matched the tape found in the trunk of the Land Cruiser.
At Eng's Tribeca home, authorities found bloodstains that were not visible to the naked eye.
Eng was ordered held without bail, while O’Rourke's cash bail was set at $25,000 cash and Lopez was held on $100,000.
As he was being led from the police station, Eng told reporters he didn't kill his mother, the Daily News reported.
“I love her very much. She gave me everything," he said.
Eng's attorney, Joel Cohen, declined to comment on the case, telling BuzzFeed News it was in the "early stages of investigation."
"There’s not even a suggestion here she had anything to do with a more serious crime,” O’Rourke's attorney Sarah Kaufmann told the Daily News. “This woman is a young person in a terrible situation.”
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Kaufmann for comment.
Chin's Facebook photos showed that she was an avid traveler, taking several trips with her family, including Eng.
In a photo taken last January, Chin was seen hiking with Eng and her other son at the Zion National Park in Utah. In a caption, she wrote: "Family hiking vacation, January 2018, and no one had to leave me behind."