Michelle Lodzinski: Port St. Lucie woman arrested for murder of son after 23 years

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Michelle Lodzinski of Port St. Lucie was arrested on murder charges in connection with the death of her 5-year-old son 23 years ago in New Jersey.

Authorities picked her up Wednesday evening in  Martin County where she works.

Her son, Timothy Wiltsey, disappeared from a New Jersey carnival in 1991 and his remains were found in a field a few months later.

Lodzinski claimed the child disappeared after she left him in line at a carnival ride while she went to get a soda.

The arrest comes after authorities in New Jersey conducted a routine review of the cold case

On July 31, a grand jury in New Jersey indicted her in the death, but the indictment remained sealed until her arrest.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said the grand jury concluded that she either killed her son or so severely injured him he died. Prosecutors allege the boy was killed sometime between when he was reported missing from a carnival, on May 25, 1991, and when his partial remains were found in an industrial park in Edison, New Jersey, on April 23, 1992.

Prosecutors are declining further comment.

Lodzinski was considered a suspect over the years but she was never charged because of a lack of evidence, according to The Star-Ledger newspaper.

Days after she reported her son missing, Lodzinski told detectives that two men, one with a knife, kidnapped Timmy, the newspaper reported.

She returned later that day and told authorities she had made up the story of the abduction. The following day, she gave police another account, according to the newspaper.

In 1994, in another bizarre scenario, Lodzinski claimed that she was kidnapped and driven to Detroit by FBI agents. She later admitted making that story up as well, according to The Star-Ledger.

Speaking about the woman's fake kidnapping story, Alan Rockoff, the Middlesex County Prosecutor at the time of Timmy's disappearance, told the newspaper, "It confirmed to me what we already knew -- she was the suspect."

At the Port St. Lucie home Thursday morning, a man who identified himself as Lodzinski’s brother-in-law, Dave Hisey, said Lodzinski “didn’t do anything wrong.”

“They’re just dragging up old dirt, that’s all, that’s about the end of it,” Hisey said.

Lodzinski has a 12-year-old son and a 16-year-old son who live with her in the home, said Master Sgt. Frank Sabol, Port St. Lucie police spokesman.

Hisey said he is taking care of the two boys.

“Michelle’s a normal woman. She’s a hard working single mother trying to take care of two boys,” Hisey said. “As far as I’m concerned, she’s innocent. She’s innocent. This has been going on for 23 years.”

Hisey said his wife, who he identified as Lodzinski’s sister, also is devastated.

“It’s a nightmare for everybody,” Hisey said.

Lodzinski is currently in the Martin County Jail where she will most likely await extradition to New Jersey.

Her bail is set at two million dollars. She is scheduled to appear before a judge Thursday afternoon.

Elliott Jones and Will Greenlee, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers,  and Lorenzo Ferrigno of CNN contributed to this report.

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