Two arrests made in March murder at West Orange, NJ reservation
WEST ORANGE — Two men from out of state have been arrested and charged with bringing another man into New Jersey and killing him, but if authorities have an idea why the victim was murdered, they did not say so in a release Wednesday.
The Essex County Prosecutor's and Sheriff's offices announced the arrests of Michael Verdel, 71, of the Bronx, and Posley Sulaiman, 31, of Detroit, charging both with first-degree murder, felony murder, conspiracy, and robbery, and second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in the March 4 death of Kelsey Steels, 31, of the Bronx.
According to investigators, Verdel and Sulaiman met Steels at Verdel's apartment, then transported him to New Jersey and shot him on a hiking trail at Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange.
No motive for the killing has been disclosed. New Jersey 101.5 submitted a request for the affidavit of probable cause in the case.
Sulaiman was due in court in New York on Wednesday, the prosecutor's office said, stemming from a gun charge for which he had been held at Rikers Island sometime between March 4 and the present.
Verdel, dubbed "The Rabbi" by those who know him according to the prosecutor's office, was taken into custody in New York and extradited to New Jersey, where a detention hearing has been scheduled for Monday.
Anyone with potential information about the ongoing investigation is asked to call the Essex County Prosecutor's Office at 1-877-TIPS-4EC (847-7432).