A Union County grand jury has returned a 10-count indictment against an Essex County man accused of murdering a Rahway woman in her home last December, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.
Roberto Grillo, 37, of Bloomfield is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder, second-degree burglary, six related weapons offenses, and fourth-degree criminal trespassing in connection with the death of 35-year-old Yolanda Vega.
Members of the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Rahway Police Department responding to a home on Beacon Street in Rahway during the early morning hours of Monday, December 7, 2015 found Vega’s body inside, and she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli, who is prosecuting the case.
An autopsy performed by the Union County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Vega’s manner of death to be homicide, with the cause of death determined to be strangulation, Spagnoli said. An intensive joint investigation involving the Homicide Task Force, the Prosecutor’s Office’s High Tech Unit, the Rahway Police Department, the Linden Police Department, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office Identification Unit resulted in Grillo, who was known to Vega and her family, being identified as a suspect in the case.
He was charged approximately one week after Vega’s death while in custody at Union County Jail, having been arrested by Linden police for trespassing at the Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery in Linden on the evening of Sunday, December 6, 2015 – approximately 90 minutes after Vega was determined to have been killed, and at a location less than half a mile from her home.
Bail for Grillo was set at $2 million by state Superior Court Judge William Daniel. Convictions on first-degree murder charges are commonly punishable by 30 years to life in state prison. These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.