Two Fatalities in Rockaway Twp Residential Fire Update

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp is confirming the identities of the two individuals who died as a result of a residential fire at 471 Green Pond Road, Rockaway Township, New Jersey on January 18, 2013.

Pamela Decker, 59 years old, and her 17 year old son Daniel Decker died as a result of injuries sustained in the fire. Brent Decker, Pamela’s husband and Daniel’s father, was taken to Saint Clare’s Hospital for the treatment of injuries sustained in the fire.

The Origin and Cause Investigation, conducted by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Environmental Crimes Unit, revealed that the fire originated in the rear of the residence in the area of the car port. The investigation revealed the improper use of extension cords in the area of the origin to heat an unattached structure on the property. The exact cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time. Cold weather and high winds and an insufficient number and placement of smoke detectors were factors in the outcome of the fire. The investigation has not revealed any indications that the fire was the result of an intentional act.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks the Rockaway Township Fire Department, Rockaway Township Police Department, Rockaway Borough Fire Department, Picatinny Arsenal Fire Department, St. Clare’s Emergency Medical Services, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Section, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit for services in this incident.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].

Two Fatalities in Rockaway Twp Residential Fire

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp is announcing that at approximately 6:00 a.m. this morning a residential fire occurred on Green Pond Road, Rockaway Township, New Jersey. The cause and origin of the fire is presently under investigation.

Three people resided in the home. Two individuals died apparently as a result of injuries sustained in the fire. A third individual was taken to Saint Clare’s Hospital for the treatment of injuries sustained in the fire. At this time the extent of injuries are unknown.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks the Rockaway Township Fire Department, Rockaway Township Police Department, Rockaway Borough Fire Department, Picatinny Arsenal Fire Department, St. Clare’s Emergency Medical Services, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Section, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Unit for services rendered at the scene.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].

Arrest Made in Parsippany Kidnapping, Robbery, Carjacking and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Frederick M. Knapp and Parsippany Police Chief Anthony DeZenzo announce the arrest of Joseph Defreitas, 41, and Marilyn Nadeau, 52, both of East Rutherford, New Jersey, for the alleged kidnapping and robbery of a 71 year old female in Parsippany on December 29, 2012.

On Saturday, December 29, 2012, the Parsippany Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting the incident which initially occurred in an office building parking lot along Route 10. The victim, a resident of New Hampshire, had become lost while traveling home from a holiday visit with her family in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.

While attempting to locate assistance with directions to the highway, the victim entered the parking lot, whereupon she was approached by Defreitas who allegedly brandished a handgun and forced the victim into his car. Marilyn Nadeau then allegedly took control of the victim’s vehicle and followed her accomplice to an automated teller machine in Parsippany. DeFreitas allegedly demanded that the victim reveal her personal identification number to complete the cash withdrawal. It is alleged that the victim complied and after completing the transaction, the victim was driven, with Nadeau following, to an industrial building parking lot on Woodhollow Road. Marilyn Nadeau parked the car, at which time Defreitas and Nadeau allegedly forced the victim into the trunk of her own car.

Ultimately, the victim was able to free herself from the trunk of her vehicle and call for help. It is alleged that after stealing the victim’s pocketbook, Defreitas and Nadeau utilized the victim’s credit cards at numerous stores throughout North Jersey and New York.

Through a lengthy criminal investigation conducted by the Parsippany Police Department along with the Morris County Prosecutors Office, Defreitas and Nadeau were both arrested on Thursday, January 17, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey by detectives from both agencies.

Both suspects were charged with Kidnapping, Robbery, Carjacking, Conspiracy, and Credit Card Theft. Defreitas was also charged with Possession of a Weapon and Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose.

Morris County Superior Court Judge Mary Gibbons Whipple set bail on Nadeau at $300,000 and Defreitas at $500,000, both without 10% cash option. Both were committed to the Morris County Correctional Facility in lieu of bail.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp and Chief DeZenzo wish to thank the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the East Rutherford Police Department, the Trenton Police Department, the Woodland Park Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, as well as Connecticut law enforcement authorities.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].