Neighbor charged with murder in Keansburg girl’s death

Posted: Updated:
(Keansburg Police Department) Abbiegail “Abbie” Smith (Keansburg Police Department) Abbiegail “Abbie” Smith
KEANSBURG -

An 18-year-old man accused of killing his 11-year-old neighbor appeared in court Friday afternoon.

Andreas Erazo is accused of stabbing Abbiegail Smith to death. Erazo lived above Smith’s family at the Hancock Arms Apartments in Keansburg.

In a court appearance that lasted less than 10 minutes, Erazo was officially charged with first-degree murder.

Friends and family members of Smith filled the courtroom to see Erazo’s first appearance. Many of them audibly gasped when they learned he had allegedly stabbed the young girl to death.

Smith’s mother yelled at Erazo after the hearing.

“You killed my only daughter and you won’t look me in the eye?” she said.

Smith’s mother reported her missing around 9 p.m. Wednesday. The girl’s body was found around 10:20 a.m. Thursday wrapped in a blanket on top of one of the rear roofs of the complex. It was originally reported that the body was found inside a metal container in the back of the complex.

Officials say that Erazo was arrested not long after the body was found.

Investigators spent most of Thursday gathering evidence inside Erazo’s apartment.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni says that Smith’s murder was one of the most “heinous crimes” of his career.

“This was difficult. All are difficult, but especially when involving a child,” he says.

Smith was in fifth grade. Mourners have set up a large memorial outside the apartment complex where Smith died.

Erazo was ordered to be held without bail. He is expected back in court Wednesday.

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