Finally, justice? Investigators ‘closing in’ on N.J. teacher’s murderer
RED BANK — It's been nearly six years since Red Bank teacher Jonelle Melton was killed in her West Sylvania Avenue apartment.
But Crime Stoppers of Monmouth County says in a new announcement authorities are "closing in" on the person responsible for the "brutal 2009 murder" and is offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who comes forward with information.
“Our office has worked tirelessly to solve this vicious crime and have recently developed new leads that make us confident that those responsible for this senseless crime will be brought to justice," acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a statement released by Crime Stoppers Monday night. " We believe that there are people who have information about this murder who have not yet come forward. Jonelle Melton deserves justice and those who knew and loved her deserve answers."
Melton, 33, was found dead after a family member went to check on her welfare when she did not respond to phone calls and she failed to arrive at her job at Red Bank Middle School, Crime Stoppers said. Authorities at the time said she'd been violently assaulted, though the announcement from Crime Stoppers doesn't discuss details of how.
It said only she was "looking forward to moving from the seventh grade classrooms to a new job as the fifth-grade teacher at Red Bank Middle School, but a brutal encounter ended her life."
“Somebody knows what happened to Jonelle Melton and holds a key piece of information about Jonelle’s murder. The prosecutor’s office has developed new leads in this case, but they believe that the public has more information that will help them prosecute those who are responsible for ending the life of a beautiful young woman," Burke said in the announcement "Crime Stoppers has offered $10,000, no questions asked. We don’t need your name. But we do need the information."
Gramiccioni said the murder investigation "will come to a close very soon due to new information that has recently been developed."
And that means the clock is ticking to step up with information, he said.
"Jonelle deserves justice and those who miss her each and every day are entitled to peace knowing that whoever is responsible will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Gramiccioni said.
Residents with information about a crime can contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling 800-671-4040, a confidential telephone tip line. They can also text "MONMOUTH" plus the tip to 274637, or leave a tip vio monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com.