Search continues for body of missing 19-year-old Neptune City resident Sarah Stern
The search for the body of 19-year-old Neptune City resident Sarah Stern continued this weekend.
Crews were concentrating the search near a jetty on the border of Avon-By-The-Sea and Belmar.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni says that he knows that strong tides may have washed Stern's body out into the ocean, but he says crews will keep looking along the Shark River and near the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean.
"We're hopeful. We're looking for some kind of miracle," Gramiccioni says. "It's going to be difficult. Some of the best people are working on this case and we will hope for the best."
Authorities say Stern was strangled to death by her good friend Liam McAtasney on Dec. 2 after he robbed her of thousands of dollars from her Neptune City home. McAtasney allegedly convinced another friend, Preston Taylor, to help him dispose of the body.
The two men are accused of taking Stern's body in her car and throwing it over the Route 35 Bridge in Belmar. Stern was reported missing the next day. Her car was found abandoned by the bridge.
Stern's father was away on vacation in Florida at the time of her murder.
"It's a shame this had to happen," says Michael Stern. "Sarah was a good kid."
The Monmouth County prosecutor says McAtasney is charged with murder and robbery. Taylor is charged with desecration of human remains and hindering apprehension.
The prosecutor is asking anyone who might have additional information about this case to call the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office at 800-533-7443, the Neptune City Police Department at 732-775-1615, or the Belmar Police Department at 732-681-1700.