FREEHOLD – The investigation into a teen’s murder over the weekend continues in Long Branch while authorities identify the victim and announce a first court appearance for the suspect.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office says 16-year-old Madison Wells was stabbed to death on Saturday night at a home on Van Pelt Place in the township. 20-year-old Bryan Cordero-Castro is the man accused of her murder.
Cordero-Castro will make his initial court appearance on Thursday, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
So far, there appears to be no motive but authorities do confirm that Wells knew her alleged killer.
Long Branch Police responded to a call Saturday night around 10:42 p.m. reporting the stabbing at 284 Van Pelt Place. Wells was taken to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch where she died about a half hour later.
Cordero-Castro is charged with first degree Murder, third degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and third degree Attempted Escape related to the stabbing death of Wells.
According to a press release from the Prosecutor’s Office, if convicted of Murder, Cordero-Castro faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in a New Jersey state prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.
If convicted of the third degree offenses, Cordero-Castro faces a sentence of three to five years in prison.
If you have any information that can help the authorities with the investigation, call Detective Wayne Raynor, of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Long Branch Police Detective Joseph Spitale at 732-222-1000.