A 47-year-old mother arrested in the cold-case killing of her 5-year-old son, whose remains were found in a New Jersey industrial park nearly a year after he was reported missing from a carnival in 1991, was held without bond Thursday on a charge of "fleeing from justice," authorities say.
Michelle Lodzinski, formerly of Perth Amboy, is accused of killing Timothy Wiltsey, who was reported missing from a carnival in Sayreville on May 25, 1991, prosecutors say. The 5-year-old’s body was found in a marshy, remote part of a large industrial park in Edison nearly a year later, on April 23, 1992.
Lodzinski currently lives in Florida and was taken into custody by authorities there after a grand jury in New Jersey handed down a one-count murder indictment late last month. She was remanded in Florida and is awaiting an extradition hearing.
Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said that a cold-case review helped launch a new investigation into Wiltsey's death.
“Following a routine, cold-case review of the evidence and facts surrounding the disappearance and murder of Timothy Wiltsey, a new investigation was conducted and the matter was presented to the grand jury,” Carey said.
Alan Rockoff, the Middlesex County prosecutor when Timmy disappeared, said he wasn't surprised at Lodzinski's arrest.
"We didn't have sufficient evidence at the time to pull the trigger," Rockoff told The Associated Press. "There was no direct smoking gun here."
Rockoff, 81, said detectives never stopped working the case and did as much as they could to solve it.
"Hopefully now, there's a possibility of closure," Rockoff said. "Justice works slowly, but works surely."
Lodzinski ran into other legal troubles after her son's death.
She surfaced in Michigan in January 1994 and said two men claiming to be FBI agents had abducted her at gunpoint outside her apartment building, forced her into a black SUV and drove her to Detroit, where they let her out.
She pleaded guilty in 1995 to making false statements to the FBI and fraudulently using the agency's seal. She was sentenced to probation.
In 1997, Lodzinski was arrested and charged with stealing a computer from her former employer. She pleaded guilty to a theft charge and was pregnant in 1998 when a federal judge sentenced her to house arrest after she admitted she committed a crime while on probation.