On April 3, a young couple was returning home from their engagement party and parking their new Honda CR-V in Jersey City, New Jersey, when they were approached by two women and a man, who shot them both twice in the head, according to authorities. Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said that the motive for these murders was theft and carjacking. Nia Haqq and Michael Muchioki were found dead near their car on Randolph Avenue in Jersey City. ESSENCE.com spoke exclusively with one of Nia Haqq's bridesmaids, who shared memories and photos of the two lovers who were just about to start a new joyous chapter of their lives together. See exclusive images of the New Jersey couple here. Read more: Shaniya's Brother: "I Didn't Think This Could Happen"Update: Photos of Four-Year-Old Boy Slain on NYE Here's what you said: Lyra commented: "Ty, thank you for sharing. ...Prior to the publishing of these photos, Nia and Michael were seen as just another statistic by some. They were thought of as just another pair of victims killed through violence. These pictures have provided a window into the wonderful individuals that Nia and Michael were." T.Angel wrote: "It just breaks my heart to think about the love and energy this couple had for one another and the impact they had."
On April 3, a young couple was returning home from their engagement party and parking their new Honda CR-V, in Jersey City, New Jersey, when they were approached by two women and a man, who shot them both twice in the head, according to authorities. Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said that the motive for these senseless murders was robbery and carjacking. Nia Haqq and Michael Muchioki were found dead near their car on Randolph Avenue in Jersey City. Muchioki was a software engineer in Jersey City and Haqq was an associate producer for an affiliate of Nickelodeon in New York. The suspects took Haqq's engagement ring, Muchioki's wallet, the pairs' cell phones and the gift cards they had received at the engagement party, held at Delta's Soulfood restaurant in New Brunswick, New Jersey, authorities say. We had the opportunity to speak with one of Haqq's best friends and bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding, who would prefer to be called simply "Ty" at this time, as the murder case is still open. Ty shared with ESSENCE.com exclusive images of her best friend and her fiance, as well as a few tender memories of the two. See exclusive images of the New Jersey couple here. Friends describe the couple as inseparable, telling us that the two always traveled together. She was by his side at most of his black and gold Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity functions. Muchioki's fraternity brothers have already created a website for the couple with over 2,000 views. The site proclaims their relationship "is the definition of love." Muchiokis' friends remember him as the type who would often go the extra mile to lend a hand to someone in need. They also describe his great sense of humor; he would regularly update his Twitter account with funny quotes for his followers on the social media site. Haqq, we are told by one of her bridesmaids, was the life of the party. Ty says she will miss speaking to Haqq every morning on G-chat. "She would always welcome me with a positive message," shares her friend. Muchioki's funeral will be held on Friday, April 9 at Monumental Baptist Church in Jersey City at 10 a.m. Haqq's funeral arrangements will be on Thursday, April 8 at Newark Symphony Hall 1020 Broad St.at 11 am in Newark, New Jersey. Nia's grandfather Jameel A. Haqq, shared with ESSENCE.com: "Her mother testified to this yesterday, she has never given her one day of grief in her whole life. She was such a great person, a great child growing up, honor roll all the way through school and Deans List in college," Haqq says. "She comes out of college and gets her dream job as an associate producer. She was a very progressive lady and if you knew her you would know how positive she was." "It is such a tragedy that someone would take both of their lives for nothing. You can not believe the suffering that we are going through because of this." He takes a long pause on the telephone followed with a deep sigh. "I love her. I bought her her first car and I would do everything for her. And, now it's over." Share friends' memories of Nia Haqq and Michael Muchioki. Read more: