New Jersey

NYC Man, 71, and Detroit Man, 31, Arrested in Murder Mystery at Eagle Rock Reservation

Kelsey Steels of NYC was found dead by hikers on the West Orange and Montclair border of Eagle Rock Reservation on March 4

A general view of nearly empty Eagle Rock Reservation Park during the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in New Jersey
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Two men -- a 71-year-old from New York City and a 31-year-old from Detroit -- have been arrested on murder charges in the death of a Bronx man who was found shot on a popular hiking trail in New Jersey last month, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Hikers discovered the body of Kelsey Steels in Eagle Rock Reservation, on the West Orange and Montclair border, on March 4. Few details were released until now, though apart from cursory information on the circumstances and the names of those arrested, prosecutors didn't elaborate much on the case in their update.

Those charged include Michael Verdel, also of the Bronx, and Posley Sulaiman, of Michigan. Prosecutors allege the two met up with Steels at Verdel's apartment in the city, then brought him across the river and killed him at Eagle Rock Reservation.

No information was provided about a possible motive and the link between the alleged killers wasn't immediately clear. No details were shared about their apparent connection to Steels either.

Verdel, referred to as "the rabbi" by those who know him, has been charged with murder, felony murder, conspiracy and robbery -- all first-degree offenses, prosecutors said. He's also accused of weapons crimes and has been extradited to New Jersey ahead of a detention hearing scheduled for Monday.

Sulaiman remains in custody at Rikers Island on a gun charge and is scheduled to appear in New York court later Wednesday. He faces the same counts in the New Jersey case as Verdel. Attorney information for either man wasn't known.

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