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Homicide victim's husband in Family Court

Nicole Tessa's husband, Joseph Jones, 28, said he

Nicole Tessa's husband, Joseph Jones, 28, said he and his newlywed wife had an argument Friday night. He left the house and when he returned, she was gone, Jones said. (Dec. 21, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday / Mario Gonzalez

The home of a Patchogue woman whose body was dumped in the woods was mostly quiet Thursday, the day after police said her death was the result of a homicide.

Nicole Tessa's body was found Tuesday in a patch of woods near her Prince Street home, two days after her husband, Joseph Jones, reported her missing.

Jones and his mother left the home Thursday morning to attend a hearing at Suffolk County Family Court in Riverhead, but the reason for the hearing was not immediately clear.

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At the hearing, a judge said Jones' mother has had custody of Tessa and Jones' son, Aiden, 3, for most of the toddler's life. Another hearing regarding custody of the child is scheduled for January, the judge said.

By noon, Jones and his mother were back at their Patchogue home. Jennifer Haffner, Tessa's twin sister, also went to the home. She and Jones later left together.

Two police detectives went inside the home shortly after 2 p.m. but left 15 minutes later.

Neither Jones, his mother nor his sister-in-law spoke with reporters.

Before police announced the homicide Wednesday, Jones said he was impatient over the slow pace at which authorities are releasing details.

"They are not giving me any information," he said as police scoured the area for more clues and evidence. "It's frustrating. I still want her to come walking through the door."

Speaking outside the couple's home Wednesday, Jones, 28, said he was questioned Tuesday night by Suffolk County detectives, but that they declined to answer his questions.

Jones had told reporters earlier Tuesday that the couple had an argument Friday night.

He said he left their home at about 11:30 p.m. and came back at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, but that she was gone.

He reported her missing Sunday, police said. Jones said that his wife has disappeared after spats before, but that she had always returned.

Tessa, 31, left for two weeks after the couple had an argument in November and stayed with a friend in Coram, he said. He said he contacted police this time because Tessa left without her anti-seizure medicine and her cell phone.

He added that he thinks Tessa might have been looking for him in the wooded area where her body was found because he smokes there.

Jones said that he and Tessa fought often, and that she would search for him when he stormed off.

"We argued a lot, but we loved each other," he said, crying. "We had these stupid arguments all the time. I would change the channel - little stuff." But he said they would always calm down and reconcile.

Jones cried Wednesday and hugged himself as he described his wife as outgoing and carefree.

"I hope they find out how she passed and who did it," Jones said.

Jones said he met Tessa four years ago while she was working at a Patchogue bar. He said he met her through her twin, Jennifer Haffner, and fell in love because "she wasn't afraid to have kids and settle down."

Tessa has four children, ages 3 to 16, Jones said, adding that they were trying to have a second child together - a girl, he hoped.

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