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Police: Man dumps wife's body in pool, gets Applebee's

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 8/3/2017 Carly Q. Romalino
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Michelle Long, 47, holds her newborn grandson Liam Engelhardt. Long's body was found in her swimming pool June 17, 2017. Her husband Norman Long is charged with her murder. © Photo provided Michelle Long, 47, holds her newborn grandson Liam Engelhardt. Long's body was found in her swimming pool June 17, 2017. Her husband Norman Long is charged with her murder.

WOODBURY, N.J. - A husband killed his wife before dumping her body in the family pool and then left to order takeout from a nearby restaurant, officials said.

The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office announced murder charges Wednesday against Norman Long in the June death of his 47-year-old wife.

Michelle Long and a small dog were found dead in her Forrest Court home's swimming pool on June 17. 

The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, finding she died of blunt-force trauma to the head and neck. 

Long was found in the shallow end of the pool, fully clothed but barefoot, according to police records. The dog was at the bottom of the pool's deep end. 

Norman Long, 51, is charged with murder, concealing evidence and obstruction, county prosecutor Sean Dalton announced at a news conference.

"She did not deserve this," Michelle Long's daughter Brittany Maguire told reporters. "We are broken without her."

Norman Long, who is not Maguire's biological father, is held at a psychiatric facility for evaluation after making suicidal remarks at the scene, Dalton said. 

When he is released, he will be held at a county jail, the prosecutor noted.

Long — a construction contractor — allegedly killed his wife inside their home, Dalton said, and then moved her body to the swimming pool. The man then went to a local Applebee's to order takeout. Dalton said authorities believe Long was trying to establish an alibi. 

Long returned to the house and reported to police his wife had drowned in the pool, Dalton said.

When police arrived, Long became combative and needed to be restrained, officials said. Authorities believed at the time he had been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to a probable cause statement. 

In a search of the home, police found Michelle Long's blood on paper towels in the kitchen trash and hardwood floor cleaner in the dishwasher. Norman Long's blood was found near a section of hardwood floor near the kitchen. The piece of flooring was removed and sent to a crime lab, according to police records. 

"My mom was truly the best person in the world," Maguire said tearfully.

Long was an "incredible mom" and a "very goal-driven" businessperson, her daughter said. 

She worked as a software consultant and sold jewelry and handbags on the side.

"We're just trying to keep it together," Maguire said.

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