Before Suffern residents Gary W. Crockett, 41, and Nickie Hunt Circelli, 40, took a plunge to their deaths off of the
George Washington Bridge Monday afternoon, Suffern PD said they took part in a grisly homicide that has shaken the Suffern community.
The troubled lovers had been living at Circelli’s uncle William Valenti’s home on 88 Washington Avenue in Suffern, when the 70-year-old man discovered the two had been forging checks to themselves from his account. Police believe the pair had promised to pay the man back, and then failed to do so, prompting Valenti to announce his intentions to press charges. This led to a confrontation in which Crockett and Circelli strangled and killed Valenti Monday morning, police believe.
Suffern Police told the media Wednesday morning that Crockett and Circelli posted a note on the door of Valenti’s home on Monday stating Valenti had been taken to the hospital. Inside the house, however, the pair left a suicide note, before jumping to their deaths. The note did not directly claim responsibility for the murder, but police said it contained general apologies to friends and family about the directions of their lives.
Valenti had run a catering truck business “Thunderbird Catering” and was well-known around the village for decades, neighbors and village officials said. His nickname was “Uncle Billy.”
Circelli and Crockett had been in trouble in the past, with Circelli arrested for grand larceny and forgery in Sullivan County four years ago and Crockett having faced narcotics charges. Crockett, who worked part-time at a moving company, was under investigation for theft of an AR-15 from home on March 1.
Suffern Police Chief Clarke Osborn said the couple had drug problems, which contributed to their criminal behavior.