NEW BRUNSWICK - One of New Jersey’s most notorious child-murder cold cases has come to a conclusion as a mother was convicted of killing her son more than 25 years ago.
A jury found Michelle Lodzinski guilty of murdering her 5-year-old son Timothy Wiltsey in 1991. The conviction came after four days of deliberations, and one day after the judge dismissed the jury foreman for undisclosed reasons and replaced him with an alternate.
Lodzinski appeared to be trembling in court, her hands shaking after the verdict was announced.
The boy’s uncle, Michael Lodzinski, says that justice was finally served for his nephew.
“[Michelle] is the only one who knows what happened and she never told us anything. But I think what was right was done today,” he says. “I do love her and want the best for her but I also want what was right for Timmy.”
Wiltsey disappeared in 1991. Lodzinski initially reported to police that he went missing from a Sayreville carnival when she turned around to buy a soda. Over time police say that her story changed, and she told them the boy was abducted at knifepoint.
The boy’s remains were found about a year later in a swampy area in the Raritan Center business park in Edison.
Investigators say that although they did suspect Lodzinski had something to do with the boy’s death, they did not feel there was enough evidence at the time to arrest her. The case was reopened in 2014 and Lodzinski was arrested in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where she was living with a new family.
Her attorney argued that eyewitness testimony and a lack of forensic evidence cast serious doubt on the case against her. There was no physical evidence or DNA linking Lodzinski her son’s death.
Prosecutors say the boy was never at the carnival and that Lodzinski killed him elsewhere. They said that Lodzinski’s changing stories and strange behavior during the investigation were evidence that she killed her son.
She will be sentenced on Aug. 23.