Body of missing New Jersey woman found under rubble of home after friend charged with murder

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Saturday, June 20, 2020
A medical examiner confirmed the human remains found in Ocean Township are that of Jacqueline Terrulli, 65, who went missing on September 12, 2019.
Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office

OCEAN TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The body of a missing New Jersey woman was found buried under the rubble of her Ocean Township home, months after a friend was charged in her murder.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office confirmed Friday that authorities recovered the body of 65-year-old Jacqueline Terrulli. The woman had been missing since September, when her home was found engulfed in flames.

Police found Ronald Teschner, a 49-year-old friend who had been staying with Terrulli, in Paterson the next day with her Jeep Cherokee and various items they believed were taken from her home including clothing, shotguns, jewelry and lawn equipment. Teschner was indicted by a grand jury in February on murder and other charges.

The prosecutor's office issued a news release Friday saying workers demolishing the home and clearing the Ocean Township property Thursday found what they believed to be human remains wrapped in plastic and buried in a shallow grave that had become hidden under debris. As a result of the fire, they said extensive charred rubble had collapsed upon and covered the burial site.

Police had searched the property several times during the investigation.

"Terrulli's body went undiscovered until yesterday, likely due to the limited decomposition of the remains. K-9 cadaver dogs are trained to detect decomposition," the prosecutor's office said.

The Monmouth County Medical Examiner confirmed Terrulli's identity but a cause of death was still under investigation.

Teschner is currently being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution. If convicted of murder, Teschner faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.

His public defender has previously said Teschner maintains his innocence.


The Associated Press contributed to this article