Scotch Plains Man Charged With Dumping Woman’s Remains

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OLD BRIDGE—Police arrested a Scotch Plains man today on charges of dumping and hiding a woman’s body in a wooded section of Old Bridge, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Old Bridge Police Chief Thomas H. Collow announced.

Christopher Michalak, 54, of Scotch Plains was arrested at Fanwood police headquarters early this morning and was charged with a second degree count of unlawfully concealing the human remains of Laura Lockatell, 42, of Scotch Plains.
Michalak also was charged with a third degree count of failing to dispose of the remains in a manner required by law.

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Bail was set at $150,000, with no 10 percent, for Michalak, who is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center.

An investigation led by Detective Michael Mechen, of the Old Bridge Police Department, and Investigator Paul Miller, of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, began after an unidentified neighbor discovered the woman’s body on Sept. 9 in a wooded section of Old Bridge, near residences on Springhill Road.

After police were able to identify the woman, they began questioning people who knew her and subsequently arrested and charged Michalak.

An autopsy was performed on Sept. 10 by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office, but the cause of death remained inconclusive pending the results of toxicological tests, which will take one to two weeks to complete.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Detective Mechen at 1-732-721-5600, extension 3001, or Investigator Miller at 1-732-745-4466.


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