It's one of those pieces of news that makes you sick to your stomach after hearing it. A piece of news that you wish you hadn't heard because it's so heartbreaking that you can't stop thinking about it for the entire day.

Brace yourselves, because this is tragic.

Cat Country 107.3 logo
Get our free mobile app

A family's worst nightmare was realized last Thursday night after Manuel Rivera, a 43-year-old residing in Middlesex County, set a vehicle on fire in which his 9-year-old son was a passenger.

Photo by Richard Bell on Unsplash
Photo by Richard Bell on Unsplash

Father sends apology video to wife as car is set on fire with 9-year-old inside

Multiple reports, including that of the Sayreville Police Department, say that Rivera and his wife had been experiencing marital problems that escalated into tragedy after Rivera left the house with their 9-year-old son on Thursday night. Reportedly, Rivera drove the car to the Sayreville War Memorial High School, doused it with gasoline, and lit it on fire.

Sources report Rivera was inside the vehicle initially, but emerged after a while. The 9-year-old child, however, would die inside the burning car.

It was later revealed that Rivera's stepdaughter called 911 shortly after Rivera left the house and told them that he took the 9-year-old with him. The stepdaughter also revealed that Rivera had threatened the lives of both himself and the 9-year-old before leaving the house he and his wife share on Eisenhower Drive.

Reportedly, Rivera left a note and sent a video to his wife's phone apologizing. He also left instructions about what to do with both his and his son's bodies once deceased.

Photo by Michael Förtsch on Unsplash
Photo by Michael Förtsch on Unsplash

Several charges have been filed

As of Monday, April 1st, Rivera was still in the hospital recovering from his injuries. Sources report that numerous charges have been brought against him, including first-degree Murder, second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and second-degree Desecration of Human Remains.

If you or anyone you know is at risk of harming themselves, you're encouraged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

Cold Cases: South Jersey's Unsolved Murders & Mysteries

Gallery Credit: Eddie Davis

12 Tickets That Do the Most Damage to Your Driving Record in NJ

Uh-oh! Don't do any of these things while driving in New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Gianna

More From Cat Country 107.3