CARTERET, NJ—On October 18, authorities including Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey and Carteret Police Chief John Pieczyski, finally announced the "fatal beating of a borough man" on Holly Street.
But those same authorities had kept the fatality a secret for nearly a week, citing only "investigative reasons."
Hector W. Torres, age 59, "was pronounced dead at 12:03 a.m. on October 12, 2016 in the first-floor home he rented on Holly Street in the borough," according to a press release issued by Carey's office.
The statement also indicated that the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office "determined that the victim died from blunt impact injury to his head."
But the MCPO did not publicize the crime until October 18 at 3:16pm, more than six days after the slaying. It's highly unusual for law enforcement to keep such a serious crime a secret for so long.
It is also at least the second murder in Carteret in less than a month. As we reported, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO) is investigating a fatal stabbing just a few blocks away that occured on September 20.
According to the MCPO's statements, no arrests have been made in either of the killings.
With two murders under investigation so far, the relatively small borough has seen more homicides this year than any other municipality in Middlesex County, despite being home to just 23,000 people.
The release about Torres' murder was obtained by New Brunswick Today despite all of our reporters being removed from the press list used by the MCPO.
"Police were dispatched to the two-family house on October 11, 2016 at 11:34 p.m. after an unidentified witness contacted police," reads the MCPO statement.
The statement does not indicate what home, or even what block of Holly Street the killing took place at.
The MCPO release said that their investigation was "active and… continuing."
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Thomas O’Connor of the Carteret Police Department at (732) 541-3863.
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.