Body Found Near Montville Industrial Park
Friday, October 13, 2006

By Bill Swayze and Kristen Alloway
The Star-Ledger exclusively at

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Police Seek Details on Corpse Wrapped in Plastic Sheet

By Bill Swayze and Kristen Alloway
Star-Ledger Staff

A landscaper discovered human skeletal remains near an industrial park in Montville yesterday morning, triggering an investigation into what authorities are calling a suspicious death.

The mostly decomposed body was clothed and enclosed in clear plastic sheeting when the landscaper, who was dumping leaves, found it shortly before 9:45 a.m.

The industrial park is off Chapin Road and Route 46 east in the Pine Brook section of the township, authorities said. The Morris County Medical Examiner's Office and forensic anthropologist Donna Fontana with the New Jersey State Police hope to shed light on the gender, age and identity of the body, as well as the cause of death, according to county Prosecutor Michael M. Rubbinaccio.

"The landscaper found the body in a wooded area next to our building," said Chris Frassetto, a partner Frassetto Cos., which owns the building at 11 Chapin Road. He declined to comment further and would not disclose the name of the landscaping company.

Montville police arrived after 9:45 a.m., and roped off a large part of the building's parking lot, workers in the industrial park said. By early afternoon, investigators used screens and pails to sift through dirt at the scene.

Employees of several of the companies said police visited their businesses and asked for lists of current and recent employees.

Authorities also are checking missing persons reports and will revisit the list of cold cases the prosecutor's office has been investigating.

Trying to determine the identity and the length of time the body had been there will not be easy. "With skeletal remains, when it comes to estimating a time of death, it is extremely difficult because there are so many factors," said Vernon J. Geberth, author of "Practical Homicide Investigation: Tactics, Procedures and Forensic Techniques."

Those factors that take a toll on a dead body include the temperature, weather and environment as well as animal feeding and insect infestation, to name a few, said Geberth, a retired New York City police Lieutenant-Commander who ran the Bronx Homicide Task Force.

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