PATERSON — An engaged couple and the father of the would-be groom were charged with first-degree murder in the death of a woman who was found dead in the trunk of her own car.

Paterson police were called to check a suspicious car parked in the area of James Street and Ryerson Avenue in Paterson just before 8 a.m. on Feb. 25,  according to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes.

Police found the body of Stephanie DeJesus, 38, of Paterson, in the trunk. Although she had a gunshot wound, a medical examiner determined she was killed by blunt force trauma.

According to her obituary, DeJesus was a cardiovascular technician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark.

Justin Fisher, 29, Ali Gibson, 51, and Joelle Martucci, 24, all of Totowa, were also charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit murder. They are all being held at the Passaic County Jail. [UPDATE: Prosecutors have dismissed the initial charges against Gibson and instead charged him with charges related to disposing of a body.]

Valdes did not disclose a motive for the murder.

Samantha DeJesus
Samantha DeJesus (Heather Vargas via spotfund)

Found dead in her own car

According to an affidavit obtained by, the victim, DeJesus was an "acquaintance" of all three suspects.

Martucci is engaged to Fisher, who is Gibson's son.

The Lincoln MKZ where DeJesus' body was located belonged to the victim.

A Spotfund page was created to help with her funeral expenses.

Her funeral is Saturday at the Shook Funeral Home in Paterson at 10:30 a.m.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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Best coffee shops & cafes near NJ beaches

When it comes to food, New Jersey is known for many things such as pizza and pork roll. Don't count us out when it comes to coffee.

With all the hustle and bustle involved in the average New Jersey resident's day, coffee is essential. It doesn't matter whether you're living in the cities of North Jersey or the vacation spots at the shore.

In fact, as the former owner of two Jersey shore coffee houses, Coffee Dot Comedy in Sea Isle City and the Daily Grind in Ocean Grove, I know firsthand how much people at the Jersey shore love their coffee.

With respect to that, I asked my social media following where the best coffee houses at the Jersey Shore were, especially since my two places no longer exist.

Below is what they came up with. (And see this other article for their coffee shop and cafe recommendations for Central Jersey.)

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