Authorities have charged a 43-year-old New Jersey man with first-degree murder in the death of a woman believed to have been killed in his home earlier this week, but police are still looking for the victim's body, prosecutors said. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013)
Authorities have charged a 43-year-old New Jersey man with first-degree murder in the death of a woman believed to have been killed in his home earlier this week, but police are still looking for the victim's body, prosecutors said.
Matthew Ballister, of Union Township, is being held on $2 million bail. Authorities believe he allegedly killed 43-year-old April Wyckoff at his house on Mercer Avenue at some point Tuesday evening and disposed of her body.
"Based on the evidence at the crime scene and other testimony, we feel we have enough to charge Mr. Ballister of murder," said Union County acting prosecutor Grace Park.
Sources say Ballister's Mercer Avenue home reeked of bleach, suggesting he tried to clean blood stains. The upstairs bedroom was in disarray, and investigators found some blood on the driveway that had mostly been washed off with a hose.
Ballister's mother has been charged with hindering apprehension for allegedly trying to help her son conceal evidence of the alleged murder. Sources said investigators found a bag of bloody clothes in her car.
Neighbor Ilda Resende said Ballister and Wyckoff seemed like a happy couple.
"I saw them together putting the dogs outside, talking in the stairs, and they looked like a good couple," she said.
"I don't have words, I'm in shock," she said of the allegations against Ballister.
Prosecutors ask anyone with information about Wyckoff's death or who may have had contact with Ballister or his mother between Tuesday night and Wednesday night to contact authorities at (908) 527-4126. They say he may have been driving a 2005 Hummer H2 that night and are looking for anyone who might have seen it on the road.
It wasn't known if Ballister had an attorney.
-- Ida Siegal contributed to this report.
Published at 12:11 PM EST on Oct 24, 2013