Remembering Michelle Boccellari

Gofundme set up for PV grad’s children


Contributed by Jessica Doyle
Michelle Boccellari, shown in the middle, was a 2002 PV graduate. She was found stabbed to death in her apartment in Dumont on June 16.

Sarah Buttikofer, Staff Writer

Jessica Doyle, a 2002 Pascack Valley graduate, was a close friend of Michelle Boccellari since they had met in the sixth grade at George White Middle School in Hillsdale. 

“She was funny, very outgoing, and had a big personality,” Doyle said. “She was always very kind and giving.”

Tragically, on June 16 police discovered Boccellari’s body. She was stabbed to death in her apartment in Dumont.

Boccellari, a mother of three girls, was also a 2002 PV grad. Jeffrey Daniels, her boyfriend and father of two of her children, was arrested and charged with her murder.

Boccellari was interested in cosmetology in high school. She attended Bergen Tech part time and eventually became a hairdresser. Boccellari was a mother to three daughters and according to Doyle, “her main focus were her three children.”

“The oldest daughter is five, and she will be living with her biological father,” Doyle said. “The two younger daughters, who were, unfortunately, the daughters of the person who killed her, they will be living with Michelle’s parents.”

Doyle’s son, Ulysses Minaya, is a rising sophomore at PV, and Boccellari was his godmother.

Nicole Kochansky has also been friends with Boccellari from a young age, the fifth grade, and is also a PV alumni of the class of 2002.

“In high school Michelle knew everybody, she was super social. She would give anybody the shirt off her back like she couldn’t do enough for other people,” Kochansky said. “Everyone always wanted to hang out with Michelle. Everybody loved Michelle. She was just the coolest person.”

Kochansky said that Boccellari was like a sister to her and they were always there for each other. She created a gofundme page to raise money to assist the family financially and help face the hardships ahead.

“There was nothing that I could do that was going to make anything better but I felt like I needed to do something for the girls,” Kochansky said. “I know that she loved the girls, and I just wanted to make sure that the girls were OK.”

Kochansky said she can’t believe the amount of money that people have donated to the cause, and said it was because of how many people Boccellari had touched in her life. The gofundme page has raised $30,740 in donations. 

“The outpour has been such a beautiful thing, I mean nothing could ever change or bring her back but at least we know that we did something and that her girls are taken care of,” Kochansky said.

Kochansky also said that Boccellari painted a picture that she was OK, but she could tell she was crying on the inside.

“What had happened was the result of a relationship of domestic violence,” Kochansky said. “We are working with a company right now to see if we can do some type of fundraising, to bring awareness to the issue because I know that there are so many people out there like Michelle. We want to make some good out of a terrible situation.”