EXIT 12, NJ—During the early morning hours of July 18, police found a parked car on or near the New Jersey Turnpike that contained the body of Pablo Caamano, a 33-year-old man from Bayonne who authorities say had been stabbed to death by a woman that he knew.
Authorities believe that 32-year-old Amarlis Calderon, a pedestrian who Caamano had picked up in Woodbridge, was responsible for the murder.
"During the investigation, it was determined that Calderon, who was walking on Randolph Avenue in Woodbridge, stabbed Caamano when he drove by and stopped to pick her up," reads the second of two press releases issued by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO).
The couple then drove through Carteret towards the New Jersey Turnpike, according to the release, before pulling over to the side of the road.
It's not exactly clear at what point the stabbing occurred, but Caamano was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:07 am.
One day later, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced the filing of murder charge against Calderon.
Calderon, also of Bayonne, had already been arrested and charged with two counts of hindering police by lying to investigators and for disposing of the murder weapon, as well as tampering with evidence. She also faces a charge of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Bail for Calderon was set at $500,000, and the prosecutor's office wants to know the source of any bail money before she will be released from the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center.
The New Jersey State Police (NJSP), which patrol the Turnpike were alerted to the situation at 3:20 a.m. and "responded along with members of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office," according to the initial press release.
The investigation was led by NJSP Sgt. Frank Robina and MCPO Detective Craig Marchak.
New Brunswick Today obtained the press releases despite being removed from the MCPO's media list, the second time the prosecutor's office has blacklisted this newspaper for its adversarial coverage.
The first of the two MCPO press releases included an error, indicating that "police were called and subsequently located a vehicle parked on Randolph Avenue in Woodbridge."
The vehicle was actually located almost two miles away in a different municipality.
MCPO spokesperson James O'Neill, who authors the agency's press releases, corrected the error the following day without explicitly stating that he was the one who had "incorrectly reported" the facts.
"It was incorrectly reported on July 18, 2016, that the victim was on Randolph Road when he was pronounced dead," reads the second release.
"The investigation is active and is continuing," the release concludes. Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Robina at (609) 947-6024.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.