Officers from the Dumont Police Department in New Jersey were lead to a murder scene by a 5-year-old who was found wandering alone outside an apartment complex Tuesday (June 16).

According to the police, around 12:20 a.m. Tuesday, authorities received a 911 call reporting about a child seen wandering alone in the courtyard of an apartment complex on Knickerbocker Road in Dumont.

A short while later dispatchers arrived at the scene and located the child. The officers learned that the child belonged to a woman living in the apartment, who was identified as 36-year-old Michelle Burns.

The officers located the child’s aunt, Nicole Boccellari, living in the same building, who told them that she tried contacting Burns but no one answered the phone. She informed that Burns lived in the apartment with her 36-year-old boyfriend, Jeffrey Daniels. She said she heard arguments coming from inside the apartment earlier in the evening.

Boccellari said a neighbor called her to say that Daniels had knocked on her door to ask for a ride. However, the neighbor did not open the door for Daniels as she feared for her safety.

"As he walked off to the next apartment to knock on their door, she noticed that he had no pants and only a jacket and holding a baby," Boccellari told local media.

The officers went to the apartment to conduct a welfare check on Burns. They found her lying in a pool of blood with what appeared to be from a stab wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Officers entered Ms. Burns’ apartment to conduct a welfare check and found her deceased,” Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said in a statement to media. “She had been stabbed in the neck with a kitchen knife.”

According to the police, a preliminary investigation revealed that there were no signs of the victim putting up a fight.

Police notified the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Bergen County Sheriff’s Department's Bureau of Criminal Investigations about the incident.

A short while later, Daniels was located attempting to knock on the front door of a residence in Closter. The victim’s two other children, an 18-month-old and a 6-month old, were spotted with him.

Daniels was taken into custody and was booked into the Bergen County Jail. He was charged with murder, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, and endangering the welfare of a child.

The motive behind the slaying was unclear. The children were reported unharmed.

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This image shows police tape around an apartment building. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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