Law & Justice

Murder Suspect Identified More Than Two Decades After His Own Death

Elizabeth Police Department officers responded to a call this morning around 5 a.m. on Edgar Road at a 24-hour car wash located just south of the Bayway Circle. Credits: Fran Sullivan

ELIZABETH, NJ — A murder case more than two decades old has now been closed as police discovered the prime suspect in the crime died when he was struck by a vehicle the same week that the murder occurred in 1993. The man killed in the accident had no identification on him and police tried to ascertain his identity but could not.

The suspect, Wilmane Nicolas, was recently identified by fingerprints entered into the National Institute of Justice’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons database, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said.

Nicholas was being sought as a suspect in the murder of his then girlfriend Magalie Francois 31, of Linden.

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Nicolas, of Elizabeth, was killed October. 28, 1993, near Routes 1&9 and East Grand Street, police said.

He remained unidentified until recently, when New Jersey State Police forensic anthropologist Donna Fontana entered the fingerprints gathered at the accident scene into the database and a match came back for Nicolas.

Two days after Nicolas was killed, police discovered the body of Francois in the 600 block of Monroe Ave. in Elizabeth. An autopsy showed she had been stabbed numerous times and suffered head trauma.  Nicholas lived in an apartment above the basement where her body was found.

According to reports family members discovered Francois after she failed to report to work for several days and that she and Nicholas were engaged to be married.                                                                                                                                                                                            `
Officials said the case is now closed.

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