Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mom charged after daughter's decomposed body found

MANCHESTER, N.J. -- When police forced their way inside a New Jersey home to investigate a strange odor in May, they found the decomposing body of a 32-year-old disabled woman, as well as a dead dog nearby, authorities said.
The woman's mother, Janet Wilson, now faces charges in her daughter Rebecca Wilson's death, according to a news release by Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Manchester Township Police Chief Brian Klimakowski.
Janet Wilson was located in Reno about a month after her daughter's body was found. She returned to Ocean County on Thursday, where she is jailed on charges of aggravated manslaughter, desecrating human remains and neglect of a disabled adult, Ocean County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave said.
Authorities said Wilson never reported her daughter's death to the Social Security Administration and was still getting her Social Security disability checks. Money had been transferred from her daughter's account as recently as June 17, according to the news release.

Police found Rebecca Wilson's decomposed body on May 30 inside her home on Fox Street in the Pine Ridge North adult community.
Neighbors shocked
Neighbors expressed shock at the charges filed in Rebecca Wilson's death.
"How could anyone do that to their daughter?" asked Linda Keegan. "She was unable to walk and needed assistance breathing. I felt sorry for her."
Rebecca Wilson lived at home and was dependent on her mother for care, according to the prosecutor's office.
Although the time and cause of Wilson's death is still undetermined, investigators are focusing on the aggravated manslaughter statute that centers on negligence of care, according to Della Fave.
Under state law, to find someone guilty of aggravated manslaughter, a jury must find that a defendant recklessly caused the death of someone under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, according to the state judiciary website.
To prove recklessness, the state must show that defendant is aware of, and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that death will result from his or her conduct.
On May 31, police attempted to execute a search warrant at the home, but the condition of the house was such that the township's code enforcement office deemed it unfit for human occupancy, according to authorities.
"I smelled something awful out there and thought something had died under my porch," said Linda Donavan, who also lived on Fox Street. "The flies were unbelievable."
Keegan said she was horrified to learn that the Wilson's dog was found dead by police.
Della Fave confirmed that authorities did find a deceased dog and that officers of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were examining the remains of the animal and would be issuing a report of their findings in the near future.
Nevada arrest
According to the Prosecutor's Office, police found Janet Wilson on June 16 in Nevada, along with her son, Scott, and her boyfriend, Della Fave said. Della Fave said Wilson is the only person currently facing charges. He could not provide the full name of Wilson's boyfriend.
Wilson waived her right to an extradition hearing and returned to New Jersey on Thursday. Her bail was set at $250,000. She is expected to make her first appearance in court Monday afternoon.
With help from Social Security Administration Special Agent Kristie Morgan, police also determined Wilson had not reported the death of her daughter and was still getting her disability checks, according to the Prosecutor's Office.
On June 17, $600 was transferred from the daughter's bank account to the mother's account, the news release said.
On June 20, with help from Reno police detectives, Manchester Detectives Al Vega and Craig Beaulieu, along with Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Detective Raymond Gardner, took Wilson into custody at the Vagabond Motel in Reno.
Patricia Burghardt, a neighbor of the Wilson's on Fox Street, said she is disturbed by what has happened.
"I knew the family for as long as they lived here and that had to be close to 10 years ago," she said.
Burghardt said Janet Wilson had recently quit her job at a Marshall's store in Toms River.
"I found her to be a very sensitive mother. She told me that Rebecca had been in a nursing home at one time and that she was no longer covered by benefits. I was surprised that Janet would quit her job," Burghardt said.


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