The drum was welded shut shortly before it was discovered by a local family on April 19, 2002, and summarily dumped into a ravine in New Jersey. The Monmouth County Attorney’s Office and the Marlboro Police Department say now They are “involved in a cooperative investigation” into the murder of the barrel man.
A statement recently released by prosecutors about a Online list of cold cases says the family who owned the property believe the drum was dumped “no earlier than the night of April 18, 2002.” The family retrieved the drum from the ravine — which had a small stream in it — and placed it at the end of their driveway.
The Marlboro Police Department and the Monmouth County Department of Health arrived on April 29, 2002 to remove the sealed drum.
“Officials from the Department of Health used a probe to examine the inside of the drum and something solid was discovered,” prosecutors wrote. “The Monmouth County Attorney’s Office’s Major Crimes and Forensics departments were called in immediately. When the drum was opened, the body of a clearly decomposed, fully clothed adult male was discovered. No wallet or other form of identification was found with the body.”
An April 30, 2002, autopsy found the man died from “multiple sharp injuries, including a stab wound to the heart.”
“The manner of death was determined to be manslaughter,” prosecutors said. “This deceased is believed to have been dead for approximately a month.”
The victim is said to have been between 18 and 34 years old. He was wearing an oversized short-sleeved Ralph Lauren golf shirt with red, white, blue and yellow stripes.
“The words Chaps and Ralph Lauren are printed haphazardly throughout the shirt,” prosecutors wrote.
The victim was also wearing 34×32 Carhartt Utility or Carpenter jeans; a pair of “Timberland Ankle-High Black Chukka Boots” in a size nine and a half; Size 38 Hanes Jockey Shorts; and a belt with a three-pronged buckle.
The victim had fallen two meters and was said to have been of thin build; He is said to have weighed about 140 to 150 pounds, prosecutors wrote.
“The deceased’s hips were very narrow and his fingers were long,” they continued. “The eye color was not discernible due to decomposition. The hair color is believed to have been dark brown or black and one-quarter to one-half inch at its greatest length.”
The victim is believed to have been of Hispanic and black descent, or white and black descent.
A fingerprint recovered from the victim found no matches in state and national databases.
After all, the deceased’s teeth could also hold some clues, prosecutors noted.
“A post-mortem dental examination was performed,” he wrote. “This examination showed 16 upper and 16 lower adult teeth. The lower teeth are crowded in front. There are two large spaces between different upper teeth, but there is no space in the middle. There is evidence of regular dental care.”
New Jersey State Police secured sketches by a forensic anthropologist to determine what the deceased may have looked like.
Authorities say they have “reason to believe the deceased may have been from central or northern New Jersey or one of the five boroughs of New York City.”
They solicit tips through the following channels: The Monmouth County Attorney’s Office can be reached at (800) 533-7443; the Marlboro Police Department number is (732) 536-0100; and confidential tips can be submitted to the Monmouth County Crime Stoppers at (800) 671-4400 or by texting “MONMOUTH” and their tip to 274637. Or tips can be filed online.
A $5,000 reward has been awarded for information leading to an arrest.
[images via the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office]
Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected]
https://lawandcrime.com/crime/authorities-seek-tips-on-murder-victim-found-stabbed-through-the-heart-stuffed-in-steel-drum-and-dumped-in-n-j-ravine-20-years-ago/ Police are seeking information on a body found in a steel drum in the NJ canyon