Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato has announced a six-count indictment of Alan McGinnis, 27, of Pemberton, Burlington County, for the murder of Cody MacPherson, whose remains were discovered in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson in March.
Law enforcement authorities have said that on Sept. 24, 2017, Pemberton police detectives filed a missing person report for MacPherson, who had recently moved to the Browns Mills section of Pemberton from Portage, Ind.
On March 19 at 1:32 p.m., the Jackson Police Department received a call from Richard Byrne, a district warden with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. Byrne was conducting a controlled burn in the area between 433 and 483 South Stump Tavern Road in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson.
Police said Byrne was preparing the area for the burn when he observed human remains under logs. He moved closer and saw what he believed to be a human skull. Byrne contacted his supervisor and requested a suppression team to respond to put out the burn to preserve the evidence.
Law enforcement personnel responded and secured the remains. An initial identification was made showing the remains were most likely those of MacPherson.
A post-mortem examination was conducted on March 20. The cause of death was ruled to be a stab wound to the left abdomen and the manner of death was ruled to be homicide. Dental work in the individual’s remains was consistent with MacPherson’s dental records, according to the prosecutor’s office.
On April 21, residential search warrants were executed in Pemberton and Jackson. An investigation revealed that during the early morning hours of Sept. 24, 2017, McGinnis allegedly stabbed MacPherson multiple times at a residence on Pardee Boulevard in Pemberton.
McGinnis then allegedly used a vehicle to transport MacPherson in the trunk to the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area. McGinnis allegedly traveled back to Pemberton where the scene was cleaned of visible blood and other evidence of the murder.
About one week later, McGinnis allegedly returned to the site at which he left MacPherson to destroy evidence associated with the crime. He is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail, Toms River, according to the prosecutor.