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Childhood Friends Accused In Death Of 19-Year-Old New Jersey Woman

On 2nd of December, 19-year-old Sarah Stern took the keys of her 1994 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight Royale and left her New Jersey home at about 11:45 p.m. Her family was waiting for her return, but she never came back.

As the cops started searching for her, they found her vehicle on a bridge spanning the Shark River. The keys were present in their place, but she was not in the vehicle.

5 agencies tried to find her, but they didn’t succeed. A few days after she went missing, dozens of individuals joined a search party to find her, but all in vain. 2 childhood friends named Liam McAtasney and Preston Taylor were also in the search party; they were classmates as well.

They both are believed to be involved in the incident; police believe that they killed her. Police allege that McAtasney snatched her valuables and threw her off the bridge, Taylor assisted in disposing off the dead body.

She was the only child of her parents; Michael Stern was desperate to find her daughter.

Taylor was summoned to court on Tuesday where he confessed disposing off Stern’s dead body, according to the prosecutors.

The judge was told by Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Meghan Doyle that McAtasney was planning the murder for 6 months and Taylor was also included in the plan as he helped him hide the dead body. He also told that the teenager was killed almost a mile away from the bridge and was hidden in some bushes by the offenders.

Several hours after her killing, the offenders put her dead body in the front seat of her vehicle.

According to Doyle, Stern was killed about a mile away from the bridge and hidden in some bushes. McAtasney took the vehicle to the bridge by driving it and Taylor approached the scene after a few seconds. They disposed off the dead body together.

Both offenders are charged for their wrongdoing.

The charges of McAtasney included:

  • First-degree murder
  • Felony murder
  • Robbery
  • Disturbing human remains
  • Conspiring with another to disturb human remains
  • Hindering prosecution

The charges of Taylor included:

  • Disturbing human remains
  • Conspiring to disturb human remains
  • Hindering prosecution

The teen’s father said about the involvement of his daughter’s childhood friends, “Unfathomable. Deplorable. Disgusting.”

Both men are locked up in jail without bond.

They have not entered a plea and it’s not confirmed whether they have retained counsel or not.

Source: www.people.com

About the Author

Criminal Defense Attorney Samuel L. Sachs, Esq. is committed to provide excellent legal services for all types of criminal matters throughout New Jersey.