The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Marlboro Police Department are engaged in a cooperative investigation regarding a murder which was discovered on April 29, 2002.
On April 19, 2002, a Marlboro family discovered a 55 gallon steel drum which had been dumped on their residential property. The steel drum had been originally located in a ravine on the property which contained a small stream. The drum was moved to the end of the driveway by family members. The family believes that the drum was placed on their property no earlier than the night of April 18, 2002.
On April 29, 2002, members of the Marlboro Police Department and the Monmouth County Health Department went to the property to remove the steel drum. The drum was found to be welded shut. Health Department officials utilized a probe to examine the interior of the drum and something solid was discovered. The Major Crimes and Forensics Units of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office immediately became involved. When the drum was opened, the body of a markedly decomposed, fully clothed adult male was discovered. No wallet or other identification was found with the body.
An autopsy performed on April 30, 2002, concluded that the cause of death was multiple sharp force injuries including a stab wound to the heart. The manner of death was determined to be homicide. It is believed that this decedent had been dead for approximately one month.
Numerous clothing items were discovered on the body. They are described as follows:
A short sleeved red, white, blue, and yellow striped golf type shirt with an inner tag reading Chaps Ralph Lauren and a size of XL. The words Chaps and Ralph Lauren are printed randomly all over the shirt.; Carhart utility or carpenter style jeans the size of which is 34×32; A pair of ankle high Chukka style black Timberland boots size 9 ½ wide; Hanes Jockey shorts, size 38; and A belt with a 3 prong belt buckle.
The decedent’s height was 6 feet and his weight is estimated to be between 140 & 150 pounds with a thin build. The decedent’s hips were very narrow and his fingers were long. Eye color was not discernible due to decomposition. Hair color is believed to have been dark brown or black and one quarter to one half inch in greatest length. Composite Sketch shows what the decedent might have looked like alive.
The decedent is believed to be a male of Hispanic/black admixture or white/black admixture. Age is estimated to be between 18 and 34.
A postmortem dental examination was performed. This examination revealed 16 upper and 16 lower adult teeth. The lower teeth are crowded in front. There are two large spaces between various upper teeth but there is no space in the middle. There is evidence of regular dental care.
Police have obtained a fingerprint from the decedent which is suitable for comparison. The fingerprint was launched through state and national fingerprint data bases with no matches found to date.
A Forensic Anthropologist with the New Jersey State Police has examined available evidence in the case. Based upon that examination, a composite sketch of what the decedent may have looked like was prepared.
Investigation has provided police with a basis to believe that the decedent may have been from central or northern New Jersey or one of the five boroughs of New York City.
Anyone with information concerning this matter is urged to call the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 732/ 431-7012 or 1 800/ 533-7443 (toll free) or the Marlboro Police Department at 732/ 536-0100