FREEHOLD – A medical examiner has confirmed that the human remains found at 86 Wickapecko Drive in Ocean Township are indeed that of Jacqueline Terrulli, 65, who went missing on September 12, 2019, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
The human remains were first discovered yesterday in the immediate vicinity of 86 Wickapecko Drive home in Ocean Township during demolition of the property on June 18, 2020. After notification to law enforcement, authorities obtained a search warrant and the remains were exhumed late last evening.
On September 12, 2019, at approximately 7:32 a.m., the Wickapecko Drive residence was discovered to be completely engulfed in flames. Once the fire was extinguished, a joint investigation was launched by the Ocean Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, in conjunction with the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office. Police quickly determined that Terrulli and another resident, Ronald Teschner, were missing, along with Terrulli’s 2019 Jeep Cherokee.
In the early morning hours of Friday, September 13, 2019, Teschner was located in Paterson alone in Terrulli’s vehicle. The vehicle contained various items including clothing, shotguns, jewelry and lawn equipment all belonging to Terrulli.
On February 24, 2020, a Monmouth County grand jury returned a 16-count indictment against Teschner for the murder of Terrulli. Despite extensive investigatory efforts, the body of Jacqueline Terrulli was not found until yesterday.
Terrulli’s remains were discovered wrapped in plastic and buried several feet in the ground near the immediate vicinity of the burned home. As a result of the fire at the 6,000 square foot residence, extensive charred rubble had collapsed upon and covered the burial site.
Several searches of the home had been undertaken during the investigation, including repeated searches with K-9 cadaver dogs. Terrulli’s body went undiscovered until yesterday, likely due to the limited composition of the remains. K-9 cadaver dogs are trained to detect decomposition.
Terrulli’s identity was ultimately identified by dental records.The cause and manner of her death remain pending at this time.
If convicted of Murder, Teschner faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.
Teschner is currently lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.
The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Joseph Cummings and Katherine Butler.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State Law.