3 Arrests in Christmas Eve Slaying

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Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Lakewood Township Police Chief Robert Lawson announced Tuesday arrests in the death of Miguel Rivera of Lakewood, found dead in his home on Christmas Eve.

Jesus Roman, 24, and Carlos Lagunes, 23, were each charged with one count of murder, as well as burglary and hindering charges. Bail was set for both at $1 million, cash only.

A joint investigation by the OCPO Major Crimes Unit and Lakewood Police developed information within days implicating the two Sussex County men. The prosecutors’ office describes in their release having to overcome efforts by Roman’s mother to hinder their investigation.

Rivera, 45, was found at his Laguna Lane home on Christmas Eve by Lakewood Police Officers responding to his residence as part of a well-being check.

Police had received a call from Rivera’s family reporting that they hadn’t heard from him in several days. When officers entered the home they found Rivera’s body lying face down in the hallway. Early reports indicated he suffered trauma to the head.

On Monday, police located Carlos Lagunes and effected an arrest. A short time later, Jesus Roman was arrested at his residence.

Jesus Roman’s mother, Evelyn Rodriguez, 46, was taken into custody and charged with one count of Hindering. Her bail was set at $250,000, with a 10% release option.