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New Jersey

Man Indicted on Felony Murder Charge in Missing NJ Woman Mansion Case

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A 49-year-old man has been indicted on 16 counts, including first-degree felony murder and first-degree robbery, in the disappearance of a 65-year-old woman who vanished in September and is presumed dead.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that her former boyfriend and roommate, Ronald Teschner, killed Jacqueline Terrulli and lit her 6,000-square-foot New Jersey home ablaze. Authorities found the mansion completely engulfed in fire when they responded to a call early on Sept. 12.

No one was there at the time, but Teschner was found in Paterson the next day alone in Terrulli's Jeep Cherokee, which also had been missing. In the vehicle: clothing, shotguns, jewelry and lawn equipment all belonging to Terrulli, prosecutors said.

The woman's remains have not been located to date. But, according to prosecutors, "the investigation uncovered that Teschner was responsible for her disappearance and her death, as well as the fire that destroyed 86 Wickapecko Drive in Ocean Township."

Prosecutors said that fire was fueled by nail polish that had been dumped in Terrulli's bedroom. Tescher, who also faces charges of arson, aggravated assault and disturbing human remains, among other crimes, remains lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution. The convicted felon was originally arrested in Terrulli's disappearance in December.

It's not clear what evidence leads authorities to believe that Terrulli is in fact did and Teschner killed her, but officials believe it happened in the course of an attempted robbery. Prosecutors previously said a jailhouse cellmate heard Teschner boasting of what he allegedly did. That reported confession included a claim he wrapped Terrulli's body in a blue tarp and dumped it at a still unknown location.

Despite multiple searches including in Deal Lake, her body has yet to be found.   

The woman who lived in an Ocean Township mansion has not been seen since the home burned down more than two weeks ago, and because the man she was living there with refuses to cooperate, the family is desperate for information from anyone. NBC New York’s Pat Battle reports.

Terrulli's mother blasted Teschner at a court hearing late last year.

"I would say to him, 'Tell me where my daughter is. Please it’s been too long now I just want to find her,'" she said fighting back tears.

Teschner faces up to life in prison with no chance of parole if convicted of murder. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Det. Patrick Petruzziello of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office at 1-800-533-7443.

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