LAKEWOOD — A doll was found pinned to a tree with a knife in its head near a Jewish school on Monday.

The discovery of the stuffed girl rag doll, first reported by the Lakewood Scoop, was made around 9 a.m., Lakewood Police spokesman Lt. Gregg Staffordsmith said. The stuffed doll with long red hair, a dark top, and a plaid skirt had a butcher knife stuck into its hear just above its right eye. A second knife was stuck in the tree.

Household utensils and garbage were also found strewn about the area, according to Staffordsmith

The wooded area off on Swarthmore Avenue where the rag doll was found is near the Toras Menachem elementary boys school. Lakewood police chief Greg Myer spoke to school administrators after it was removed. No children saw the doll, according to the chief.

"Although the act is certainly disturbing in nature, there isn’t any evidence on scene to suggest that this was intended to terrorize or send a message of hate to any particular person or group," Staffordsmith said, adding that the case remained under investigation.

The incident took place at the beginning of the first school day after the shooting deaths of 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Lakewood has once of the largest Orthodox Jewish populations in New Jersey, and the community has often been a target for anti Semitic vandalism.

Police asked anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 732-363-0200.


Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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