ABERDEEN — A battle over a memorial to shooting victim William Karecki in Aberdeen has led to the memorial being taken down.

The killing of the 23-year-old on Ocean Avenue in the Clilffwood Beach section of town remains unsolved. The family erected a makeshift memorial on the edge of a parking lot where Karecki was shot nine times.

His sister, Becky Karecki, wrote on her Facebook page that Mayor Fred Tagliarini promised would remain in place until the crime was solved.

But Becky Karlecki posted on her Facebook page a letter from Town Manager Holly Reycraft saying the township needed to move the memorial so construction equipment can use the lot for the construction of a splash park across the street.

Reycraft wrote if the family did not remove the memorial, the Deptartment of Public Works would take it down and bring it to their home.

Becky Karlecki posted an online petition to convince the township council to keep it in place. As of Monday afternoon, more than 1,700 had signed it.

"Please join the fight for #JusticeForBilly, and sign your name below to petition keeping his memorial where it stands," she wrote. "We have been through far too much in the past two years and need everyone's help in allowing Billy's Memorial to stay right where it is, as there are memorials all over the town, all over the world that go unbothered."

Becky Karlecki wrote on Saturday on Facebook, after a conversation with Tagliarini in which she said he was "very respectful," that the mayor would allow the memorial to remain pending a discussion with the family.

However, a day later, she said Tagliarini changed his mind and told her the memorial had to come down by Friday.

"Aberdeen Township, you have now let us down yet again, except this time, you have shown your true colors. You are LIARS, you are heartless souls, and you are money-hungry jerks," she wrote.

Taglianni did not return a message to New Jersey 101.5. He told NJ.com the township felt the township gave the family "enough time."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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