Prosecutor: Three Arrested in Cold Case Murders After 25 Years

Three people have been arrested and charged in connection with two separate homicides that had remained unsolved for 25 years, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Tuesday.

Last week, Jose R. Carrero, 48, of Jackson Township, and Ted Connors, 47, and Dolores Morgan, 66, both of Del Ray Beach, FL, were each charged with two separate counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Ana Mejia and Nicholas Connors.

The cases’ background …

On Dec. 8, 1994, Ana F. Mejia, 24, was discovered deceased and partially clothed inside a bedroom of the Prospect Street apartment in Long Branch that she shared with her boyfriend and her two young children. Mejia was stabbed multiple times. When she was found, a white powdery substance had been rubbed on her face. Her children were found safe within the residence. 

Six months later, on May 14, 1995, Long Branch police officers were dispatched to the Van Dyke Place home of Nicholas Connors, 51.  There, authorities found Connors dead on a sofa. He had multiple gunshot wounds to the head. 

An investigation into the killings was initiated by the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office and the Long Branch Police Department shortly after. Additional evidence recently uncovered by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Cold Case Unit and Long Branch Police Department resulted in charges being lodged against the three defendants for both crimes.  

Carrero is scheduled for his first appearance in court tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020,  A detention hearing for is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2020, before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon. Carrero is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township.

Ted Connors and Morgan are both currently being held in the Palm Beach County (FL) Detention Center, West Palm Beach, Florida. They are expected to return to New Jersey following an extradition hearing in the Palm Beach County Courthouse. 

If convicted of first-degree murder, each defendant faces a sentence of between 30 years and life imprisonment. 

This is an initial report. More information about the cold cases will be included when it becomes available.

Anyone with additional information about this case is urged to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective John Leibfried at 1-800-533-7443, or Long Branch Police Detective Todd Coleman at 732-222-1000.

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about a crime can contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com.

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

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management