Police & Fire

Authorities Discover Suspect Wanted in 1993 Slaying Died Nearly 24 Years Ago

Wilmane Nicolas, 31, was a suspect wanted in a 1993 homicide, authorities said. He was placed on the Union County Sheriff's Most Wanted List. Credits: via the Union County Sheriff's archived website

ELIZABETH, NJ - Authorities recently discovered that a suspect wanted in a 1993 homicide in the city has been dead for nearly 24 years.

Thirty-one-year old Magalie Francois was found dead Oct. 30, 1993 on the 600 block of Monroe Avenue in Elizabeth with numerous stab wounds and blunt trauma to her head, authorities said. Police identified Wilmane Nicolas as her boyfriend and a suspect in the case.

Authorities placed Nicolas, who was 31 at the time, on the Union County Sheriff’s Office Most Wanted List and a warrant for his arrest was issued in January 1994.

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But two days before Francois’ body was found, Nicolas was killed in a motor vehicle accident in the area of Route 1&9 and East Grand Street, authorities said. His body was not identified by authorities until now, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced today.

Nicolas, of Elizabeth, did not have any identification on him at the time of the motor vehicle accident, authorities said today, and despite the efforts of investigators to confirm who he was and contact next of kin, his identity remained unknown.

Authorities submitted the accident victim's fingerprints to the New Jersey State Police in 1993. They again submitted the fingerprints to the FBI in 2006, but a match was never produced with a known person, authorities said.

New Jersey State Police Forensic Anthropologist Donna Fontana recently found a match though.

The revelation was discovered when she entered the fingerprints of a series of unidentified bodies to the National Institute of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Person System (NamUs) database. That search turned up a match to Nicolas.

In 2009, the NamUs system became fully searchable. It was created to help identify thousands of unidentified human remains that the nation's medical examiners and coroners handle, according to the NamUs website.

Meanwhile, Nicolas’ death was ruled an accident by authorities and no charges were brought against the driver, Union County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Mark Spivey told TAP.

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