Lakewood Resident Faces Indictment for Murder and Theft

Lakewood, NJ (Ocean) – In a significant development, John Filistovich, a 59-year-old resident of Lakewood, has been indicted by a Grand Jury in Ocean County on charges of Murder and Theft. The charges are in connection with the death of 60-year-old Betty Perry, also from Lakewood, which occurred on May 30, 2023.

The incident took place on May 30, 2023, when officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department responded to a welfare check at a residence on Thornbury Court. Upon entering the residence, they discovered the lifeless body of Ms. Perry in the bedroom.

A thorough investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, the Lakewood Township Police Department, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that Filistovich and Ms. Perry were living together and involved in a romantic relationship. Further investigation uncovered that Ms. Perry’s 2015 Hyundai Elantra had been stolen from the residence.

Later that same day, detectives received information that Filistovich had been encountered by Maryland State Troopers on the side of the road near Salisbury, Maryland, driving the victim’s vehicle. Filistovich was subsequently transported to a local medical facility in Salisbury, where he was charged with the theft of Ms. Perry’s vehicle.

On May 31, 2023, the Ocean County Medical Examiner conducted a post-mortem examination of Ms. Perry’s body. The examination revealed that she had died from blunt force injuries to the head, neck, and chest, leading to asphyxiation. The manner of death was determined to be homicide. Based on the investigation, Filistovich was identified as the individual responsible for Ms. Perry’s death and was formally charged with murder on June 1, 2023.

Following his release from the medical facility in Salisbury on June 1, 2023, Filistovich was taken into custody without incident. He was then transferred to the Wicomico County Corrections Center in Salisbury before being extradited to Ocean County. Since his return to New Jersey, Filistovich has been held in the Ocean County Jail.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer commended Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke for presenting the case to the Grand Jury. He also extended his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, Maryland State Police, and Salisbury Police Department for their collaborative efforts in this investigation.

It is important to note that the charges against Filistovich are allegations, and he is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law, as stated by R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).

This incident has sent shockwaves through the community, highlighting the need for increased vigilance and safety measures. The local authorities continue to work diligently to ensure justice is served in this tragic case.

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