GREEN TOWNSHIP, NJ – The New Jersey State Police are investigating the second murder since November 15 in Sussex County.
Gregg Murphy, 55, of Stanhope, admitted stabbing Marianna Ferreira, 56, of the township, according to state police spokesman Lt. Stephen Jones of The New Jersey State Police Headquarters in Trenton.
Jones said troopers interviewed Murphy at the Sussex Station, but did not have information on where he was apprehended, or if he went to the station voluntarily.
Trooper from Sussex and Andover Township Police responded to a 911 call at 35 Phillips Road at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. A police press release reported a family member found Ferreira dead on her kitchen floor, but did not identify the family member. However, a local daily newspaper identified the family member as her son, Jared Ferreira, a 2005 graduate of Newton High School, who owns Valeira Web Engineering, also located at the Phillips Road site.
The New Jersey State Police Major Crimes Unit, Troop B, and the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office also responded to the scene and initiated the investigation, according to the press release.
Jones said Murphy is a local contractor who met with Ferreira and, “we believe this may have had something to do with their interaction."
He identified the murder weapon as a knife, but could not be more specific. Jones said he could not discuss what led the police to Murphy. “We’ll leave those details go until we hit court, like what led us to Murphy.”
Murphy was charged with murder and lodged in the Sussex County jail on $750,000 full cash bail, no 10 percent option.
The press release ended with the standard disclaimer: “Charges are mere accusations and the subject is presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.”
At the Green Township Committee Meeting, mayor James Chirip began the meeting by offering condolences to the family and friends of Ferreira.
Deputy Mayor Daniel Conkling noted his daughter, Kelly, went through school with Ferreira’s son, Jared. The families live near each other. “She was a good Christian,” Conkling said. “I’m still trying to get my mind around this.”
Later in the meeting, resident Josephine Fracasso asked if there is any way to get the word out to people in the surrounding area when something like this happens.
Committeewoman Peg Phillips noted that would not be up to the township, it would be up to the sheriff’s department. Conkling said information from any agency other than the police could fuel the rumor mill.
Fracasso pointed out the murder was not too far from Green Hills School. Phillips said “I have to believe if it was a school day, they would have put the school on lockdown.” She added. “I live next door and we knew quickly” it was someone the victim knew.
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