Home E/M Sentinel E/M Sentinel News Statements recall carnival worker’s recollections the night boy went missing in 1991

Statements recall carnival worker’s recollections the night boy went missing in 1991

Staff Writer

NEW BRUNSWICK — The defense for Michelle Lodzinski, who is be tried for the murder of her son, Timmy, in 1991, presented additional witnesses who said they observed a boy resembling Timmy at the carnival.

The defense concluded its second week of witness testimony on April 21 in Middlesex County Superior Court.

Diana Courtney, who was operating a ride at the carnival in Kennedy Park on May 25, 1991, took the stand on April 20; however, she told the jury she does not recall anything.

After some arguments between the state and defense, Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves ruled that Courtney could read her recorded statement to Sayreville police from May 26, 1991, when she told police she had observed a woman fitting the description of Lodzinski with a young boy fitting the description of Timmy at the carnival.

On April 21, after some more arguments, Nieves ruled that retired Sayreville Police Chief Edward Szkodny, who was a lieutenant in 1991, could read portions of his initial report in relation to the interview with Courtney, which provided more detail on what she observed.

Szkodny said during the interview that Courtney told police she observed a young boy with a skinny body, dark eyes, wearing a red top, red shorts and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sneakers walk in front of her ride, and then she observed a young woman of average height, slim, medium build, with long, dark shoulder-length hair who was fairly attractive calling out “Timmy” or “Jimmy” for him to go over to her.

Courtney further states in her interview with police that about 10 minutes later she observed the same woman walking back and forth alone from the concession stand to the rides about four to five times appearing to be looking for something and appearing to look worried and upset.

Szkodny said the interview took place 16 and a half hours after Timmy was reported missing.

On cross-examination, Szkodny said he recalled Courtney’s appearance as “extremely pale. She was sweating profusely, looked disheveled and her hands were trembling.”

Also on cross-examination, police learned that carnival workers including Courtney spoke about Timmy’s disappearance. A description of Timmy was relayed throughout the carnival on speakerphone the night of his disappearance.

On re-direct examination, Szkodny said those details of Courtney’s appearance were from his own recollection and not documented in his report.

Debbie Wyckoff, who was 15 at the time, testified she observed a young boy wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sneakers with a woman and two men going into the carnival.

Wyckoff’s twin sister, Debbie Wyckoff Kokinos, testified she observed the same thing as her sister.

The jury had previously heard testimony that Lodzinski told police that a woman named Ellen, who she recognized as a client at an Amboy Bank she used to be employed at, put Timmy on a ride as she went to get a soda.

In another interview with police, Lodzinski told police that Ellen was a go-go dancer and was with two scraggly-looking men and a young girl. She said Ellen and the two men had put a knife on her and threatened her if she said anything and then left with Timmy.

Anne Golio told the jury that she lived across the street from Lodzinski and Timmy when she lived on Augusta Street in South Amboy in 1991.

The morning of May 25, 1991, Golio said she and her mom observed Timmy and Tara Packard, the daughter of Lodzinski’s next-door neighbors at the time, Theresa and David Packard.

“[Timmy] was running and I yelled out my storm door window to him that he shouldn’t be running in the street,” she said, adding that it was around 11 a.m. She said she did not observe any adults with the children.

Lodzinski had told police that she and Timmy left for Holmdel Park around 2:30 p.m. on May 25, 1991, and then arrived at the carnival in Sayreville around 6:30 p.m.

The trial is expected to last three months.

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