Prosecutor: 23-Year-Old Father Facing Murder Charge in 2019 Death of His Infant

A Monmouth County man has been arrested and charged with murder and related offenses in connection with the death of his 6-week-old baby girl, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Thursday.

Austin Meli, 23, of Wall Township, was charged on Thursday with one count of first-degree murder, and one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted of murder, Meli faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in a New Jersey state prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life without parole.

The case background …

Wall Township Police Department responded on March 9, 2019 to a residence in the township regarding an unresponsive six-week-old infant girl. The investigation determined that six-week-old (G.B.) was in the immediate care of her father, Austin Meli, at the time she was found to be unresponsive.

G.B. was subsequently pronounced dead at Ocean Medical Center, in Brick. As a result of the ongoing investigation, additional details surrounding G.B.’s death were provided to investigators, resulting in the homicide charge being brought against Meli.  

Meli is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township. 

If anyone has any information that can assist the investigative team, they are urged to call Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Shawn Murphy at 732-431-7160 ext. 7032 or Wall Township Police Detective Chris Lisewski at 732-449-4800 ext. 1140.

— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office