2011 Kenvil murder remains unsolved

Six years ago on Memorial Day weekend, Chafic “Steve” Ezzeddine was found murdered inside his place of business, the Kenvil Diner in Roxbury Township. At the time of his death on Saturday, May 28, 2011, Steve had owned and operated the diner for about 30 years.
Six years later, multiple law enforcement agencies remain committed to actively pursuing any and all information that may lead to an arrest. At the same time, the Ezzeddine family continues to deeply mourn this horrific tragedy and the loss of their loved one.
The Ezzeddine family, in coordination with friends and family, has now increased the reward leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone responsible for the murder of their patriarch. Coupled with the Morris County CrimeStoppers reward money, the total reward has been doubled from $25,000 to $50,000. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is not involved in any aspect of the reward being offered.
Over the course of the last six years, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Roxbury Township Police Department have worked with numerous law enforcement agencies on the investigation of this crime. Those agencies include the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, New Jersey State Police, New York City Police Department, New York City Medical Examiner’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Secret Service.
The passage of time does not lessen the commitment of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office to solve this crime and provide closure to the Ezzeddine family.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is strongly encouraged to contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 973-285-6200 or www.morrisprosecutor.org, the Roxbury Police Department at 973-448-2100, or Crimestoppers at 973-COP-CALL. Persons reporting any information may remain anonymous. Information on how to leave an anonymous call or text message can be found at the Crimestoppers Program website at www.morriscrimestoppers.org.
For more information, contact Public Information Officer Fred Snowflack at [email protected] or (973) 829-8159.

Virginia Vertetis gets 30 years for murder

Virginia Vertetis, 55, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 years in New Jersey State Prison after being found guilty of murdering a Staten Island man with whom she had a previous relationship.

Vertetis is required to serve the full 30 years without the possibility of parole. The prosecution of this matter was handled by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.

“This is the worst of crimes,” said Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Troiano during the sentencing of Vertetis before Judge Stephen Taylor in state Superior Court in Morristown. Troiano, who was the lead prosecutor in the case, added that, “This type of violence is … permanent in every sense of the word.”

Vertetis was convicted by a Morris County jury on April 3 on the first degree charge of Murder and the second degree charge of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.

This incident was first reported to police just before 10 p.m. on March 3, 2014, when officers with the Mount Olive Police Department responded to 2 Apollo Way in the Flanders section of the township after a 911 call by the victim’s daughter. Authorities found the body of Patrick Gilhuley immediately inside the front entrance of Vertetis’ home.

Gilhuley was pronounced dead at the scene and Vertetis was arrested shortly afterwards. The investigation revealed that Vertetis fatally shot the victim within her home.

“The jury reached the just and proper verdict, and the defendant has now been sentenced for the senseless murder of Patrick Gilhuley,” Prosecutor Knapp said. “It is our genuine hope that this will bring some sense of closure to his family.”

Prosecutor Knapp would like to thank the agencies that participated in the investigation that led to Vertetis’ conviction, including the Mount Olive Police Department, the Criminal Investigation Section of the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, The Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office, the New Jersey State Police office of Forensic Sciences, and the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

For further information, contact Public Information Officer Fred Snowflack at [email protected] or a (973) 828-8159.

Morris County officers, departments honored for community policing

Four Morris County law enforcement agencies and six individual officers were among those honored Monday by the New Jersey Attorney General for outstanding and innovative approaches to community policing.

Those honored during ceremonies at Rutgers University’s Livingston Campus were Lieutenant Paul Castimore, Detective Joseph Kratzel, Traffic Officer Rodger Davis and School Resource Officers Christopher Fabian and Joseph Hale from the Jefferson Police Department, Patrolman John Eckert of the Morris County Park Police, and the Parsippany and Roxbury Police Departments.

Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp said, “I am extremely proud of these Morris County law enforcement officers and agencies who were honored for their community policing work. We must be especially cognizant of the need for law enforcement to engage in such programs to maintain public trust.”

Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said that community policing is far more than walking a beat.

“Rather, it’s an overarching strategy that depends on the collaboration between police department and community groups working together to identify and solve local neighborhood problems,” Porrino said.

That spirit was exemplified by the officers and departments that received honors Monday.

The five Jefferson officers were honored for running an annual Junior Police Academy that introduces about 75 students from the ages of 11 to 14 to possible careers in law enforcement. The academy offers students interaction with the New Jersey State Police and teaches them about crime scene investigations.

Patrolman Eckert of the Morris County Park Police was cited for his involvement with the department’s Child ID Program, which provides parents with ID cards in case a child goes missing. He also assists with the department’s holiday toy drive and created the department’s Facebook page.

The Parsippany Police Department was honored for presenting a wide range of outreach events including crime prevention seminars, a citizens police academy, a social media presence and bicycling through neighborhoods to get to know residents in an informal setting.

The Attorney General honored the Roxbury Police Department for launching a community food program in response to a food shortage identified by the township’s social services department. Children donating food at headquarters get to meet an officer and to sit in a patrol vehicle.

For more information, contact Public Information Officer Fred Snowflack at [email protected] or (973) 829-8159.