FREEHOLD– An Ocean Township man has been charged with the murder of Jacquelin Terrulli, 65, who went missing on September 12, 2019, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Ronald Teschner, 49, of Ocean Township, was charged with first degree Murder, first degree Felony Murder, second degree Disturbing Human Remains, first degree Robbery, second degree Aggravated Arson and three counts of Theft.
At approximately 7:32 a.m., on September 12th, the Ocean Township Police and Fire Departments responded to a fire at 86 Wickapecko Drive. Upon arrival, authorities found the approximately 6,000 square foot residence completely engulfed in flames. Once the fire was extinguished, a joint investigation was launched by the Ocean Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office. Police quickly determined that two residents, Teschner and Terrulli, along with Terrulli’s 2019 Jeep Cherokee, were missing. The investigation revealed that the vehicle was last seen leaving the Monmouth County area at approximately 8 a.m. that morning.
In the early morning hours of Friday, September 13, 2019, Teschner was located alone in Terruli’s vehicle in Paterson. The vehicle contained various items including clothing, shotguns, jewelry and lawn equipment stolen from Jacqueline Terrulli or her family. A subsequent police investigation determined that Teschner was responsible for Terrulli’s disappearance and her death, as well as the fire that destroyed the 86 Wickapecko Drive residence.
At this point in time, despite extensive law enforcement efforts, the remains of Jacqueline Terrulli have not been located.
“The detectives and law enforcement partners in this investigation have worked vigorously to bring us to this point. I commend them all for their tenacity to seek out and find answers to some of the difficult questions that have been presented in this case. I am proud of their determination to seek justice for Jacquelin Terrulli and her family,” said Gramiccioni.
“I am very pleased that the killer of Jacquelin Terrulli has been charged. My heart goes out to the victim’s family and I commend them for being so patient during this long and arduous investigation. I also am very proud of the hard work and dedication shown by the Ocean Township Police Detectives and the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office during this case. Their great work was key in moving forward with these new charges,” said Ocean Township Police Chief Steven R. Peters.
Teschner has been held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution since he was located in the early morning hours of Friday, September 13, 2019 in Paterson. He was previously charged with two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, two counts of Certain Persons Not to Possess Weapons and three counts of Receiving Stolen Property.
Anyone who has information to share is urged to contact Detective Patrick Petruzziello of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at (800) 533-7443 and/or Detective Chris Brady of the Ocean Township Police Department at 732-531-1800.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous, but who has information about a crime can contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of criminals and fugitives.
Today’s announcement would not be possible without the assistance of the Ocean Township Police Department, Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office, New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office and their K9 Accelerant Dog, New Jersey State Police K9 Cadaver Dog, New Jersey State Police Missing Person Unit, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC), New Jersey State Police Laboratory, New Jersey Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, Critical Research Group, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office K9 Bomb and Blood Hound, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dive and Search Team, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Drone, Monmouth County Public Works, Monmouth County Helicopter, New Jersey Transit Police Dive Team, New Jersey Transit Police Boats, Bergen County Sheriff’s Department K9, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Quantico Laboratory, FBI CAST Program, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) K9 accelerant Dog, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office (Major Crimes Unit), Patterson Police Department, Wayne Police Department, State Office of the Attorney General Division of Criminal Justice Recruit Class, New Jersey Turnpike Authority, National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), and the University of North Texas.
The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Cummings.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State Law.