GUILTY: Michelle Lodzinski murdered her 5-year-old boy, Timothy
A Middlesex County jury has found the mother of Timothy Wiltsey guilty of his 1991 murder.
Michelle Lodzinski, now a resident of Port St. Lucie, was charged with the 5-year-old's s murder in 2014 after the case was reopened with the discovery of new evidence. Lodzinski first said Timothy Wiltsey disappeared while they were at a Sayreville carnival, then said he had been kidnapped from there.
The verdict was reached one week short of the 25th anniversary of Lodzinksi reporting her son missing from a Sayreville carnival. Prosecutors say the boy was never at the carnival and Lodzinski killed him elsewhere. They contended Lodzinski used the carnival to devise the kidnapping story, and no one who knew Timothy saw the two of them together.
The child's remains were found in 1992 in a marshy area a few miles away. A cause of death couldn't be established because of how much the child's remains had deteriorated.
Prosecutors told jurors Lodzinski's changing stories about the boy's disappearance demonstrated consciousness of guilt. Prosecutors have portrayed Lodzinski as a struggling single mother overwhelmed by the burden of caring for her child. She was 23 when Timothy went missing.
No forensic evidence tied Lodzinski or the boy to the blanket or other items found near his remains 11 months after he disappeared.
Gerald Krovatin, Lodzinski's attorney, focused on the lack of any hair or fiber evidence on the blanket that could connect it to Lodzinski or Wiltsey. He noted that one of the baby sitters had expressed anger at Lodzinski in the past over a custody issue, and said the recollections of the other two were suspect.
Michael Lodzinski, Michelle's brother, told reporters that he had only asked his sister about Timothy a few times over the years. He said she never told anyone in her family what happened.
"She's the only one that knows. We don't know anything, and she never told us anything," he said. "He was a great little boy, and this should never have happened to him."
Jurors considered whether Lodzinski is guilty of murder, aggravated manslaughter or manslaughter. She faces up to life in prison when she is sentenced on Aug. 23.
The jury foreman was dismissed from deliberations by the judge on Monday without explanation. The judge said only the matter was “personal and related only to him, and has nothing to do with the other members of the jury.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.