In 1990, a 20-year-old woman and her friends traveled down to the Jersey Shore for Memorial Day weekend, and she was later found dead and sexually assaulted, according to the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office.
The case has remained cold for 32 years. However, recent DNA testing has provided new clues and identified a suspect in connection with Susan Negersmith’s sexual assault, the prosecutor’s office said in an April 8 news release.
Officers arrested 62-year-old Jerry Rosado, of Millville, on April 8 in connection with Negersmith’s sexual assault, according to the release.
His apprehension was “long overdue,” county Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland said in a statement.
On May 27, 1990, Negersmith was found dead and partially clothed in a “rear outside storage area” next to a restaurant in Wildwood, a beach resort city in southern New Jersey, the prosecutor’s office said.
An autopsy revealed that she’d been sexually assaulted, officials said.
In 2018, “new DNA technology” was used to create a genetic genealogy analysis on an unknown DNA profile that was previously found from Negersmith’s body, the news release said. Rosado was ultimately identified as a match.
“This investigation is on-going and should additional information become available additional charges could be made,” the news release said.
Rosado is charged with second-degree sexual assault and could face up to 10 years in state prison if convicted, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Negersmith’s father, who died in 2016, would often press authorities about his daughter’s cold case, the Courier Post reported.
“Countless law enforcement professionals and prosecutors have worked on resolving this case over the last thirty-two years and their collective dedicated effort, in conjunction with the improvements in DNA Technology and Genetic Genealogy Analysis, has led to this long overdue arrest,” Sutherland’s statement said.
Wildwood is roughly 100 miles south of Trenton.