Appellate Court affirms Lodzinski’s conviction in killing of son, Timmy

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NEW BRUNSWICK – A day after what would have been Timothy Wiltsey’s 34th birthday, a New Jersey Appellate Court affirmed the conviction of his mother, Michelle Lodzinski, formerly of South Amboy, for killing him when he was 5 years old.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced the New Jersey Appellate Division’s 34-page affirmation in a prepared statement on Aug. 7.

Lodzinski, 51, was found guilty by a jury of seven men and five women on May 18, 2016, following a four-month trial in state Superior Court, New Brunswick. She was convicted of killing her 5-year old son, whose partial remains were recovered in 1992 after he was reported missing from a carnival in Sayreville over Memorial Day weekend in 1991.

Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves handed Lodzinski a 30-year prison sentence on Jan. 5, 2017.

On appeal, Lodzinski, through her attorney Gerald Krovatin, argued for her conviction to be reversed because “no evidence” suggested she caused the death of Timmy, and because the state violated her due process rights because it waited 23 years to indict and bring her to trial.

Lodzinski also argued the jury’s deliberations were tainted after a juror allegedly brought in outside information.

Assistant Prosecutor Joie Piderit argued the case before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey on April 1.

“We are very pleased with the affirmance, which comes one day after Timmy’s birth date. Prosecuting this case was the right thing to do,” Carey said in the statement. “I am truly honored to work alongside so many dedicated individuals who tirelessly seek justice for victims no matter how much time has passed.”

Timmy was reported missing the night of May 25, 1991, at a carnival held at Kennedy Park in Sayreville. A massive search for him ensued after Lodzinski told authorities she had turned her back on Timmy for only a few minutes to get a soda at a concession stand when he disappeared.

Timmy’s skeletal remains were found in a creek off Olympic Drive in Raritan Center, Edison, on April 23, 1992.

In the days and weeks after Timmy was reported missing, Lodzinski told law enforcement officials at least four different versions of what had happened at the carnival.

Through testimony, law enforcement officials investigating the case in 1991 and 1992 have said Lodzinski was their primary suspect in Timmy’s disappearance.

The state’s position – argued by Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christie Bevacqua and Assistant Prosecutor Scott LaMountain – has been that Lodzinski attended the carnival herself that night, killed Timmy, and dumped his body in the creek off Olympic Drive in Raritan Center, having previously worked four-tenths of a mile from that location, because her son became a burden, preventing her from keeping a steady job and a relationship.

Krovatin, who represented Lodzinski during the trial and on appeal, has said his client loved Timmy and was a good mother to him. He called the state’s case against her circumstantial with no evidence.

An anonymous tip that came into the Crime Stoppers hotline in 2011 about Timmy’s disappearance prompted the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to reopen the case in 2011.

During the trial, Bevacqua and LaMountain argued Lodzinski killed the child sometime before she reported him missing from the carnival.

Carey commended what he called the vigilant efforts of the dedicated police officers who worked on the case over the years, including members of the Sayreville Police Department, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the New Jersey State Police and the FBI.