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Mother whose son disappeared at N.J. carnival charged in his murder

John Walsh who hosted America's Most Wanted
Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

If you lived in New Jersey 23 years ago, you may remember hearing the name Michelle Lodzinski, the frantic mother who took her five-year-old son, Timothy Wiltsey to a carnival in Sayreville over the Memorial Day holiday in 1991.

According to the Home News Tribune, and several other news sources, the mother, now living in Port St. Lucie, Fla. has been considered a suspect from the time Timothy went missing. His death has been one of the highest-profile unsolved murder cases in Middlesex County.

A new investigation was conducted, presented to the grand jury, and the charge was handed down that Lodzinski “did purposely or knowingly kill Timothy Wiltsey, or did purposely or knowingly inflict serious bodily injury upon Timothy Wiltsey, resulting in his death,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in a prepared statement. The grand jury charged that the boy, who was the subject of an intensive search after he disappeared, was killed in South Amboy, Sayreville or Edison, where his body was discovered by a bird watcher in a remote area of Raritan Center on April 23, 1992.

Questions are posed as to whether the boy was ever at the carnival. She told police originally that she was buying a soda for him, when he disappeared. Subsequently, his disappearance caused a nationwide manhunt that involved the FBI, state, county and local police, along with hundreds of volunteers. He was also featured on America’s Most Wanted, milk cartons and even New York Yankees star Don Mattingly pleaded for his safe return.

Right now, Lodzinski is being held at the Martin County Jail, Stuart, Fla. on $2 million dollars bail. It is not known at this time, if Lodzinski will waive her right to an extradition hearing and return to New Jersey.