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New Jersey man charged with 19-year-old woman's murder

A New Jersey man has been charged with the murder of a 19-year-old Neptune City woman who was last seen Dec. 2. Authorities allege the suspect, also a 19-year-old Neptune resident, strangled the victim during a botched robbery attempt in Belmar and threw her body off a nearby bridge with the help of a male accomplice.

Authorities began looking for the victim after her abandoned car was found on the Route 35 bridge over Shark River. Police have searched the river and surrounding areas, but her body has yet to be recovered. The suspect is accused of strangling the victim while trying to steal money from her. According to local media reports, both the suspect and the accomplice were friends with the victim on Facebook, but the exact nature of their relationship is unknown.

The suspect has been charged with murder, desecration of human remains, conspiracy to desecrate human remains, robbery and hindering apprehension. The 19-year-old accomplice, a Neptune resident, has been charged with desecration of human remains, conspiracy to desecrate human remains, contempt and hindering apprehension. The investigation remains open.

Individuals who have been issued murder charges can face severe consequences if they are convicted of the crime. Typical punishments include lengthy prison terms and steep fines. However, every defendant has the right to retain a criminal defense attorney and vigorously fight the allegations in court. Legal counsel could examine the evidence for details that undermine the prosecution's version of events, which could lead to the charges being dismissed. If the evidence in the case is strong, an attorney may recommend negotiating with prosecutors for a deal that reduces the charges in exchange for the defendant's guilty plea.

Source: CBS New York, "Police To Start Search For New Jersey Woman's Body After 2 Men Charged In Her Death," Feb. 2, 2017

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