N.J. Dad Dies Weeks After Killing Son, 9, and Setting Car on Fire with Boy Inside

Manuel Rivera died less than a month after killing his son Christian Naszier Rivera, per police

<p>Kristyne Felicies/GoFundMe</p> Christian Naszier Rivera

Kristyne Felicies/GoFundMe

Christian Naszier Rivera
  • Manuel Rivera had been accused of murdering his son Christian Naszier Rivera

  • Manuel left a suicide note and video apologizing to his wife in the March incident

  • Christian was killed following a domestic dispute between his mother and Manuel, per reports

The man who police say killed his 9-year-old by setting a car on fire behind a school in New Jersey has died after he sustained grave injuries in the same incident, authorities say.

Manuel Rivera, of Sayreville, N.J., was pronounced dead on Wednesday, weeks after police say he set a car on fire with his son inside, the Middlesex County prosecutor's office announced, according to My Central Jersey, NJ.com and CBS News.

The child, who died in the March 28 incident, has since been identified as Christian Naszier Rivera. It wasn't clear if the boy died prior to the fire or in the fire.

Manuel, 43, was initially charged with aggravated arson, PIX 11 and ABC 7 NY reported at the time, citing officials.

Authorities had since charged him with additional offenses of murder, endangering the welfare of a child and desecration of human remains, according to the prosecutor’s office, NJ.com, My Central Jersey and CBS News reported.

<p>Kristyne Felicies/GoFundMe</p> Christian Naszier Rivera is being remembered as a 'bright and shining super star'

Kristyne Felicies/GoFundMe

Christian Naszier Rivera is being remembered as a 'bright and shining super star'

On the evening of March 28, police responded to a fire behind a high school in Sayreville and found Manuel next to a burning car, authorities said at the time. Manuel had sustained burn injuries and a self-inflicted cut across his throat, per authorities, NJ.com reported. The car had been doused in gasoline and responding officers found Christian’s body inside, per authorities, as initially reported by NJ.com, ABC 7 NY and NBC New York.

A few minutes after the fire, police responded to a domestic dispute call from a female who claimed Manuel had left the house with Christian and had threatened to kill the child and himself, according to a probable cause affidavit reviewed by NJ.com.

Manuel reportedly left a suicide note in the back of their residence, per authorities, NJ.com and My Central Jersey reported. In a recorded video, he expressed remorse to his wife over his actions and requested she cremate him and Christian, the affidavit said, according to the outlets.

Manuel said he “will see [his wife] in the afterlife,” the affidavit stated.

Related: New Jersey Father Accused of Setting Car with 9-Year-Old Son’s Body Inside on Fire

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In a GoFundMe set up to assist Christian’s mother, the boy was honored as the “bright and shining super star” of the family.

“Christian would light up the room whenever he entered,” reads part of the GoFundMe. "A charismatic, smart, loving son and brother, who will be greatly missed by his family, friends and community."

Manuel’s cause of death was not immediately clear from the initial reports.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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