Arrest Made in Boy's Murder 23 Years Later

The mother of a young boy who disappeared from a New Jersey carnival in 1991 has been arrested and charged with her son's murder.

Michelle Lodzinski was arrested Wednesday in Martin County, Florida, and charged with the murder of her 5-year-old son, Timothy Wiltsey, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

Lodzinksi, 47, told investigators her son disappeared at a carnival at Kennedy Park in New Jersey in May 1991, police said. His partial remains were found in Raritan Center, an industrial park in Edison, New Jersey, in April the following year.

She has long been considered a suspect, with investigators at the time saying that her story changed as police questioned her.

A Florida judge ruled at a 10-second court hearing Thursday that she will be held without bail.

Very few details have been released about what led prosecutors to arrest the mother more than two decades after the crime.

"Following a routine, cold case review of the evidence and facts surrounding the disappearance and murder of Timothy Wiltsey, a new investigation was conducted and the matter was presented to the grand jury," Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement.

A grand jury indicted her on a first-degree murder charge last Thursday. The panel said she "did purposely or knowingly kill" Timothy Wiltsey or did "purposely or knowingly inflict serious bodily injury" resulting in his death.

She was arrested in her new hometown of Port St. Lucie, Florida, though it has still not been confirmed whether or not she will be extradited to New Jersey. Bail for Lodzinski was set at $2 million.

Lodzinski was a 23-year-old single mother at the time of her son's disappearance and she told investigators that they went on two rides at a carnival before she got thirsty and went to a concession stand, according to the Star Ledger newspaper of New Jersey. She told police that when she turned to go to the stand, her son disappeared.

The paper said that no one at the carnival recalled seeing the boy, who was reportedly wearing a red shirt and shorts and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sneakers.

Lodzinski told investigators three different versions of events within the first few days of her son's disappearance- one featuring two men with a knife and, after she admitted she made that up, she said that there were two men and a woman involved in the alleged abduction, according to The Star Ledger.

Lodzinski, who has maintained her innocence throughout the investigation, now works as a paralegal in Florida and The Star Ledger reports that she now has two children.

She came to police attention again in January 1994 when she said two men claiming to be FBI agents had abducted her at gunpoint outside her apartment building, forced her into a black SUV and drove her to Detroit, where they let her out.

She pleaded guilty in 1995 to making false statements to the FBI and fraudulently using the agency's seal. She was sentenced to probation.

In 1997, Lodzinski was arrested and charged with stealing a computer from her former employer. She pleaded guilty to a theft charge and was pregnant in 1998 when a federal judge sentenced her to house arrest after she admitted she committed a crime while on probation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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