TOMS RIVER - Some Toms River residents say that they are upset to hear that the man convicted of raping and murdering a 13-year-old girl 30 years ago is soon to be released from prison.
Shawn Milne was 15 years old when he was accused of the brutal rape and murder of his neighbor, 13-year-old Barbara Renee Harrison in 1985. Investigators say Milne hit Harrison on the head, knocked her unconscious and dragged her into the woods, where he assaulted her. Investigators then say he threw her into Goose Creek, where she drowned.
The case devastated the community when it happened. Longtime Toms River resident Dan Stiles says that he remembers it well.
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“It was a big deal, because they’re young and children in Toms River are supposed to be taken care of,” he says.
Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy was a Dover Township patrol officer back then. He responded to the scene. He says Harrison's killing had everybody in the area on edge.
"Obviously I have vivid memories when the call came in that night, missing person,” Mastronardy says.
Milne was tried as an adult and sentenced to 50 years in prison. However, he is getting out on Nov. 14 after serving 30 years, due to good behavior.
Now residents say that they feel uneasy, because they think someone who is capable of these crimes should not be released.
“His parents would do him a favor if they just take him cross country somewhere and relocate,” says Marguerite Stiles. “I don’t think the people of Toms River will ever forget.”
News 12 New Jersey tried to reach out to the family of Milne and his victim, but was not able to reach them.