Linden mom still missing after a month — and authorities now doubt friend’s story
The circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Linden resident Tyrita R. Julius have come into question a month after she was last seen in Tinton Falls.
Monmouth County Acting Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni on Friday said no one has heard from Julius, 41, who reportedly spent the day with a female friend in the Fox Chase community of Tinton Falls on March 8.
Adding to the intrigue and worry surrounding her case is that a year ago Julius and her daughter were shot while sitting in their car. Police have not made an arrest in that case — nor have they identified a suspect — and authorities now say they are not ruling out any connection from the shooting to her disappearance.
Investigators from Monmouth said they have not been able to corroborate a friend's story that she dropped off Julius at the Long Branch train station.
"It is not believed she boarded a train that night in Long Branch,” Gramiccioni said.
The prosecutor did not release the identity of the friend and did not name her as a suspect.
“There are still many lingering questions surrounding the disappearance of Ms. Julius, but one thing we are all certain about is this: someone out there knows something about it. We strongly urge that person to come forward and do the right thing,” said Acting Chief of Detectives John G. McCabe, Jr., of the Union County Prosecutor's Office, which is also working the case along with Linden and Tinton Falls police.
Monmouth County Crime Stoppers and Union County Crime Stoppers are jointly offering up to a $15,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Julius.
"The Julius family has also gathered $5,000 of their own money through friends and neighbors as a reward as well," said Gramiccioni.
Julius was shot several times Nov. 24, 2015, in the front seat of her car in Linden. Her teenage daughter, who sat in the front passenger seat, was grazed by a bullet fired by a man with a partially covered face who had approached the car to talk to the 15-year-old.
Friends of the family are concerned there may be a connection.
"We're not ruling out any connection," Gramiccioni said. "We're still exploring that but I couldn't tell you at this point in there is a connection. Everything is fluid in this investigation."
Julius, of Middlesex Street in Linden, is described as a black female who was last seen wearing a black-colored Columbia jacket, black sweatpants, black ankle high boots and a black t-shirt with an orange colored/glitter basketball on the front. She stands about 5-foot-7 with brown eyes and a medium complexion. Tyrita has two small tattoos; a love symbol and a butterfly. She also has scarring related to the shooting on her chest and abdomen.
Tips can be given anonymously to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-671-4400 or text “MONMOUTH” and your tip to 274637 (CRIMES) or to the Union County Crime Stoppers at 908-654-TIPS (8477) or text “UCTIP” and your tip to 274637 (CRIMES).
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