Category: Cranbury

East Windsor, NJ, Cold Case Investigation Identifies Suspect in 1984 Sexual Assault and Homicide

Amid National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Decades-Old Mystery of East Windsor Teen’s Death Is Solved

April 26, 2023

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER) — Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced that a collaborative, multi-agency investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force in conjunction with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Cold Case Network and the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) has resulted in the conclusive identification of Nathaniel Harvey, formerly of East Windsor, as the individual responsible for the sexual assault and murder of Donna Macho in 1984. Harvey died in South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton in November 2020.

Ms. Macho, 19, went missing from the East Windsor home where she resided with her parents and sisters on or about February 26, 1984. Her skeletal remains were discovered in a wooded area in Cranbury, N.J., on April 2, 1995, and she was positively identified using dental records.

Throughout the initial and subsequent investigation by the East Windsor Township Police Department, with assistance from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, persons of interest were developed in the case. Harvey, who was arrested around the same time Ms. Macho went missing and held in connection with several sexual assaults as well as an unrelated murder in the Windsor/Plainsboro, N.J. area, was identified early on as a possible suspect, but investigative leads dissipated and the case went cold. During the commission of his crimes, prosecutors say Harvey typically entered unlocked homes, where he would hold captive and rape young women.

In February 2022, at the direction of Prosecutor Onofri, the case was presented to the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability’s Central Regional Cold Case Task Force, one of the task forces statewide that makes up the Cold Case Network, formed in 2019. The investigation was reopened.

All viable physical evidence was resubmitted to the NJSP Central Regional Laboratory, including DNA evidence and fingerprints. During the initial investigation police found Harvey’s semen in Ms. Macho’s bedroom. But DNA testing was less precise at the time, and the testing conducted on that evidence was unable to match the bodily fluid to one specific individual. The reinvestigation of the case, and reexamination of the evidence using present-day DNA technology, matched it to Mr. Harvey, and determined that his DNA was the only DNA evidence in the room that should not have been present.

Ms. Macho’s body was found in April 1995 in a wooded area by a farm that Harvey briefly worked at around the time of her disappearance. Her vehicle was found abandoned by a nearby sewer plant, within walking distance of Harvey’s residence. 

Though the initial autopsy ruled Ms. Macho suffered a gunshot wound to her head, further examination of her remains by the Middlesex Regional Medical Examiner’s Office during this cold case investigation determined that, although it was clear a head injury caused the victim’s death, it was not conclusively a gunshot wound. The cause of death was amended to evidence of homicidal violence and Ms. Macho’s manner of death remained recorded a homicide.

Harvey was sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with a different homicide in Middlesex County, and he remained incarcerated from the time of his arrest in 1985 until his death in 2020. 

“By sharing personnel, expertise, and technological resources, the Central Regional Cold Case Task Force took a fresh look at this decades-old mystery and identified the suspect in this horrific crime,” said Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. “We are grateful Prosecutor Onofri referred this case to the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, and that all the agencies involved collaborated as a team to bring some resolution to the victim’s family. The life and the loss of Donna Macho was not forgotten, and this announcement illustrates the Cold Case Network will not relent in its pursuit of justice.”

“This case illustrates the importance and effectiveness of the Cold Case Network, and its ability to dedicate resources, including cutting-edge technology, to revive cold cases, apply previously unavailable tools to reexamine evidence and bring resolution to grieving families long haunted by unanswered questions,” said Carolyn Murray, Director of the Integrity Bureau of OPIA, which includes the Cold Case Network. “It also ensures with greater accuracy that the proper suspects are identified in connection with these cases, and those who are innocent are not falsely accused of criminal conduct.”

“Nearly 40 years have passed since the life of a 19-year-old was mercilessly stolen by a predator who discarded her remains in a shallow grave, leaving them unrecovered for more than 10 years,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Time does not erase the quest for justice, and although this murderer was imprisoned for another killing and died in custody in 2020, it does not make this conclusion any less meaningful. I applaud the Central Regional Cold Case Task Force and the State Police forensic scientists who were hopefully able to offer the slightest measure of consolation to the victim’s family after all these years.”

“All of the evidence that was viable to be tested has been tested and all leads have been exhausted,” said Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri. “After a comprehensive, cooperative investigation, cold case detectives were able to eliminate other potential suspects and are confident that Nathaniel Harvey is the perpetrator in the sexual assault and murder of Ms. Macho and the case is now closed.”

“I’m grateful to the Attorney General’s Office and the NJSP for the formation of the Cold Case Task Force,” said Prosecutor Onofri. “The technological and investigative resources made possible through this collaboration of law enforcement agencies are invaluable and allow us to bring some closure to families like the Machos after decades of questions and uncertainty.”

Attorney General Platkin and Prosecutor Onofri commended all of the Central Regional Cold Case Task Force’s participating agencies, including the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability under the leadership of OPIA Executive Director Tom Eicher, the New Jersey State Police, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office.

They also expressed their appreciation to the NJSP Office of Forensic Sciences, the NJSP Central Regional Laboratory, the Middlesex Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, the New Jersey Department of Corrections’ Special Investigations Division, and the East Windsor Township Police Department for their assistance.

$1.87M Verdict for Woman Injured at Cranbury Inn

Debra Forman, 62, suffered traumatic brain and orthopedic injuries after a fall

March 17, 2023

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The Lawrenceville-based law firm of Stark & Stark announced that Shareholder Evan J. Lide has secured a verdict totaling $1.87 million for 62-year-old Debra Forman after she tripped and fell at the historic Cranbury Inn in Cranbury, NJ.

At the date of the incident, Nov. 4, 2017, Ms. Forman was attending a wedding and tripped and fell on a fireplace that had been erected in the newer part of the building. Ms. Forman fell forward, landing on her face, resulting in non-displaced fractures on her nose and a non-displaced right humerus fracture. A few days after being discharged from the hospital, she exhibited post-concussion symptoms and later developed knee pain. It was also later determined that she had suffered a traumatic brain injury from the accident.

The Inn served as its own general contractor on the hearth extension that caused Ms. Forman’s fall, which was raised 1.375 inches. The building’s site inspection by a liability expert after the accident determined the hearth was a tripping hazard and was five times what the ASTM standards, the ADA, and the building code required (.25 inches).

This case was presided by the Honorable Christopher D. Rafano, J.S.C., in New Brunswick, NJ. After two weeks of trial, Debra Forman was awarded $1.35 million for pain and suffering, $402,596 for her loss of earning capacity, and her husband was awarded $120,000 for his loss of consortium.

“I am thankful that the jury saw the truth in this case and that her reputation was vindicated,” stated Mr. Lide. “When Debbie tripped over the raised fireplace hearth extension, she did in fact suffer a traumatic brain injury that has had devastating consequences for her and her family. This verdict means so much to Debbie and her family and I am proud of the work and resources dedicated by our team.”

Some of Ms. Forman’s injuries were not immediately known and many of her symptoms developed over time. Some of her pre-existing conditions (like migraines and a knee injury) returned or were exacerbated by the fall, and other injuries, like one to her bicep tendon that required surgery three years after the incident, were directly related to the injuries suffered immediately following the accident. The Defense argued that Ms. Forman was faking many of her injuries.

Another interesting component of this case was the fact that the ASTM and ADA standards are voluntary, and the Township of Cranbury, where the Inn is located, did not adopt them and they were therefore not legally binding. The plaintiffs, however, were able to argue that the legality of the standards ultimately did not matter because the hearth posed a dangerous condition that lacked any visual cues which would have drawn attention to the potential hazard.

Evan J. Lide is a Shareholder and member of Stark & Stark’s Personal Injury Group. He is also an expert Civil Trial Attorney as certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. He has dedicated his career to seeking justice on behalf of those who have been wronged. Mr. Lide focuses his practice on representing people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other catastrophic injuries, including death resulting from automobile crashes, product liability, and premises liability.

About Stark & Stark:
Since 1933, Stark & Stark ( has developed innovative legal solutions to meet our clients’ needs. Boasting one of the oldest law practices in New Jersey, Stark & Stark offers a full range of legal services for businesses and individuals. After 90 years, our attorneys continue to deliver practical, efficient solutions to clients in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and throughout the United States.

Cranbury Inn Facebook Photo

Multiple Accidents Reported In Cranbury

December 13, 2022 — Updated

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)-Late Saturday afternoon December 10, 2022 a crash occurred at the intersection of Station Road and Liberty Way. Upon arrival one vehicle was on its side and another had heavy front end damage. There were reports that this was a double fatal accident.

There was another crash at Brickyard and U.S. 130, that was a separate incident that occurred later in the evening.

Photos by: Steven Kadir

Truck Burns On NJ Turnpike In Cranbury

November 10, 2022

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Last night around 11:30 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to the New Jersey Turnpike outer roadway at mile post 70.6 south bound for a well involved truck fire. Upon arrival firefighters quickly knocked down the flames. Firefighters from Hightstown, Cranbury, Monroe Township and Millstone Township were called to the scene. Firefighters remained on location until 12:42 a.m. No other information is available at this time.

NJ State Police Seek To Identify Suspects Who Stole Cell Phone At NJTP Service Area In Cranbury

October 15, 2022

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The New Jersey State Police is seeking the public’s assistance with identifying a woman who allegedly stole a cell phone from a convenience store located on the New Jersey Turnpike, Molly Pitcher Service Area in Cranbury Township, Middlesex County.

On Friday, October 14th, at approximately 3:30 p.m., an Hispanic female suspect and an Hispanic male associate entered the convenience store and removed a cell phone from a display before exiting the store. The Hispanic couple then entered what appeared to be a gray Nissan sedan with an unknown license plate and fled the service area southbound on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Troop “D” Cranbury Station Detective Bureau at 609-409-1609.

Anonymous tips are welcome.

Serious Crash With Injuries On NJ Turnpike In Cranbury, NJ

September 5, 2022

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–A serious crash occurred this evening on the New Jersey Turnpike North Bound Outer Lanes in Cranbury, New Jersey near an emergency turnaround for the Molly Pitcher Service Area. A medical helicopter was called to the scene but was canceled due to proximity since the local trauma center is a short drive to New Brunswick. There were reports of other injuries and trauma alerts were called. All victims were transported to RWJ University in New Brunswick. Cranbury Fire Company, Hightstown Fire Department, Cranbury First Aid, Robbinsville EMS, Capital Health Paramedics with MSU, and Capital Allentown EMS responded to the crash. Google Maps reported a 4-mile delay going north bound in the outer roadway from Exit 8 to the area of the Molly Pitcher Service Area.

Sgt. Alejandro Goez of the New Jersey State Police, Public Information Unit told MidJersey.News that the accident was reported at 5:38 p.m., north bound at mile post 71.5 in the outer roadway in Cranbury Township. Two vehicles were involved and there is one serious injury reported at this time. The victim was taken to RWJ, University Hospital in New Brunswick.

The right lane is currently closed for the accident investigation.

Truck Fire On New Jersey Turnpike

August 10, 2022

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Around 8:56 p.m. Hightstown and Cranbury Fire Departments were dispatched to the New Jersey Turnpike for a truck fire. The fire was reported in the area of mile post 69 in the outer roadway. Fire arriving firefighters reported that the truck was well involved in fire. Additional water tankers were called to the scene including one from Monroe Township Fire Department. Firefighters remained on scene for an extended time to mop up hot spots and overhaul. The fire is currently creating a two mile traffic delay in the north bound direction starting prior to Exit 8. The inner roadway is closed for construction and the fire is on the outer roadway and down to two lanes in the area of the fire. New Jersey State Police is directing traffic in the area and investigating.

Cranbury Woman Charged in Connection with Fatal Crash

February 15, 2022

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Michael J. Owens of the Cranbury Police Department announced today that a Cranbury woman has been charged in connection with a fatal crash, which resulted in the death of a passenger and serious bodily injury to the driver of one of the involved vehicles.

An investigation conducted by Detective Paul Lindenfeld of the Cranbury Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that, on February 10, 2022, at approximately 4:12 P.M., Lisa Pollitt, 36, of Cranbury intentionally drove her vehicle into oncoming traffic where she struck the victims who were travelling northbound on Route 130. Both women in the impacted vehicle sustained serious bodily injuries and were transported to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital where the passenger, Ann “Nancy” Stewart, 95, of Monroe, remained in critical condition.

On February 12, 2022, Stewart died as a result of her injuries sustained in the crash.

Pollitt was initially arrested and charged with separate counts of second- and third-degree aggravated assault and fourth-degree obstruction. Upon the death of Ms. Stewart, she was charged with one count of first-degree murder. At present, the murder appears to be a random act as Pollitt and the victims were unknown to one another.

Pollitt remains in custody pending a pre-trial detention hearing in Superior Court.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Lindenfeld of the Cranbury Police Department at (609)664-3244 or Detective Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Pollitt are merely accusations and she is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Previous information:

February 11, 2022

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Michael J. Owens of the Cranbury Police Department announced today that authorities are investigating a two-car crash, which resulted in serious bodily injury to the driver and passenger of one of the involved vehicles.

On February 10, 2022, at approximately 4:12 P.M., authorities responded to the area of Route 130 and Justin Drive following the report of a crash involving multiple vehicles. The initial investigation conducted by Sergeant Douglas Mayer of the Cranbury Police Department and Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined one driver operated a vehicle, which struck another vehicle occupied by two women as it travelled northbound on Route 130. Both women in that vehicle sustained serious bodily injuries and were transported to a nearby hospital where one, the passenger, remains in critical condition.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Sergeant Mayer of the Cranbury Police Department at (609) 395-0031 ext. 7726 or Detective Berman of the Middlesex County

Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.

Worker Dies in 25 Feet Fall at Cranbury Warehouse

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Police and EMS were dispatched to Delta Apparel Inc, 5 Santa Fe Way, Suite 501, Cranbury, NJ 08512 on December 2, 2021 at 11:46 a.m. for a reported fall victim. On arrival, Police located Cesar Torres, a 34yo male from Hackensack NJ, atop an interior warehouse floor with a severe head injury. Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Paramedics, along with the Cranbury Township First Aid, transported Torres to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital (New Brunswick). Torres was subsequently pronounced dead while at the hospital.

The investigation revealed that Torres, an employee for WA Installation (Passaic NJ), was elevated within the warehouse, approximately 25 feet up, installing warehouse shelving racks, immediately prior to the accident. Next of Kin has been notified. The incident remains under investigation with the Cranbury Township Police Department and OSHA.

Dumpster Fire With Extension To Large Warehouse

September 21, 2021

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Firefighters from several departments including Cranbury, Hightstown, East Windsor, and Monroe Township were dispatched to a well involved dumpster fire that was next to a large warehouse at approximately 10:40 a.m. When firefighters arrived they found that the flames were starting to extend into the building. Firefighters arrived and extinguished the fire. No further details are available at this time.

Tropical Storm Henri Floods Area With Up To 8 Inches Of Rain, Rescues, Evacuations, Road Closures

August 22, 2021

Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Henri flooded the area overnight with up to eight inches of rain in the Central New Jersey area. Many people traveling on flooded roadways were trapped in the vehicles and needed to be rescued.

Hightstown Fire Company reported responding to at least 10 incidents with the majority being water rescues. Hightstown firefighters rescued eight civilians who were trapped in their vehicles or relocated to the roof of their vehicles due to flood waters.

The National Weather Service reported that 4 to 8 inches of rain fell from the storm and that Middlesex and Mercer Counties were particular hard hit.

Flooding in the area of Cranbury-South River Road and CR614 Dey Road, several cars were submerged and local fire departments made rescues earlier in the morning. A house and business was flooded near the location.

Flooding in Jamesburg, NJ at the Lake Manalapan dam at West Railroad Avenue.

Flooding in Cranbury, NJ from Heri on August 22, 2021

TRAFFIC ALERT: Serious Truck Crashes With Serious Injuries And Entrapment Prior To Exit 8A On NJ Turnpike

July 26, 2021

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Two separate serious crashes on the NJ Turnpike in the area of Exit 8A left the North Bound outer “truck” lanes of the NJ Turnpike closed and traffic backed almost 10 miles to Exit 7A in Robbinsville.

Monroe Township Fire Rescue 23, Ladder 23, Engine 23, Tanker 23, Chief 23, Squad 57 and Monroe Twp EMS responded to the the NJTP for 2 separate calls. 1st call was for an overturned Commercial Vehicle in the NB Car Lanes. While responding, a 2nd call for a 2nd Commercial MVC with heavy entrapment just south of the first call was received. Crews worked quickly to free the driver from the vehicle. has reached out to NJ State Police for official information and when that becomes available the story will be updated.

Truck Fire On NJ Turnpike In Cranbury Township

July 14, 2021

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Around 8:14 a.m. firefighters from Hightstown, Cranbury and Monroe Township were dispatched to the NJ Turnpike in the area of mile post 71 south bound for a truck fire. Smoke could be seen for miles and additional tankers were called to the scene.

The south bound outer roadway was down to the left shoulder during the firefight. Delays were also on the inner roadway mostly from rubbernecking.

No further information is available at this time.

Car vs Motorcycle On NJ Turnpike In Cranbury Township; Motorcyclist Taken To Trauma Center In New Brunswick

July 10, 2021

10:00 p.m. UPDATE: NJ State Police Sgt. Alejandro Goez told that the accident was reported at 4:49 p.m. south in the outer roadway at MP 70 in Cranbury Township. A Acura TLX collided with a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The motorcycle overturned and the rider was ejected.

The rider, 33 year-old male of Passaic, NJ sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to RWJ New Brunswick. No injuries reported to the driver of the Acura. The scene was clear by 6pm.

The accident remains under investigation.

CRANBURY, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Just prior to 5:00 p.m., Hightstown, Cranbury, and East Windsor first aid squads along with Capital Health Paramedics were sent to the NJ Turnpike near mile marker 70 south bound outer lanes for a car vs motorcycle. A helicopter was placed on standby but the decision was made to transport to Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center in New Brunswick a near by trauma center. During transport a “trauma alert” was called en route to the hospital.

The New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash.

Driver Extricated On NJ Turnpike In East Windsor

July 9, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Around 7:20 a.m. an accident was reported on the NJ Turnpike south bound inner roadway at mile post 70 with reported entrapment. The Hightstown Fire Company, Monroe Township Fire Department, Cranbury First Aid Squad, Hightstown First Aid Squad and Capital Paramedics were sent to the scene.

Monroe Township Fire reported “going in service with the tools” to cut the driver of one of the vehicles out of the car.

The injured were transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threating injuries.

NJ State Police is investigating the crash. No further information is available at this time.

Just south of this accident Robbinsville Township Fire Department and EMS and East Windsor Rescue Squad were sent to mile marker 67 north bound inner roadway for another crash. It was unclear if anyone in that accident was transported to the hospital.

Heavy rains were moving though the area at the time of the crashes from Tropical Storm Elsa.