Monday, June 2, 2008

NJ man charged in wife's death after almost 2 1/2 years

Alan Stoedtler, a 62 year old New Jersey man, was arrested Thursday for the December 14, 2005 murder of his 43 year old wife Donna in the borough of Manasquan. The murder was the 1st murder 30 years, and according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, he had always been a suspect.

Police searched for evidence and witnesses, using resources including divers who searched in an area close to where Alan Stoedtler worked. According to authorities, Alan came home and found his wife shot to death and their home ransacked.

Donna Stoedter worked as a vice president and senior credit adviser at Wachovia Bank in Red Bank. In the days following the murder, Borough Councilman Joseph W. Lucas, chairman of the public safety committee, said the borough Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office were working together to solve the crime.

A public records check last year showed Stoedter living in Lake Hopatcong. A man answering a telephone number under that name Tuesday confirmed he was Stoedter, but when asked to comment on the case he hung up.

Speaking on behalf of Donna Stoedter’s family, her brother-in-law, John Lorenzo of Easton, Pa., said, “We miss Donna, and we’re hoping 2008 brings a resolution. That’s all there is to say at this point.” He later added, “You never give up hope, never give up hope.”

Neighbors, including Tom Dross, described the Stoedters as quiet people who kept to themselves.

“They kept to themselves. They were very polite, nice people, but everyone’s still kind of shocked about what happened.”

Stoedtler was being held on $3 million bail on murder and other weapons charges.

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