A Seaside Heights man who killed a woman, then overdosed on drugs at a motel, has pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated manslaughter and is expected to serve a lengthy prison term.
Gerardo Ruiz, 51, of Seaside Heights, admitted to killing Alecia Perreault, 29, also of Seaside Heights, before Superior Court Judge Guy P. Ryan earlier this week. At the time of his sentencing, scheduled for Dec. 9, prosecutors will be recommending a term of 35 years New Jersey State Prison.
The case began May 1, 2021, when Seaside Heights Police received a 7:30 a.m. telephone call from “an individual claiming to have knowledge that Ruiz killed a female at the Offshore Motel in Seaside Heights,” prosecutors said in a statement.
The caller then told a dispatcher that Ruiz was staying at the Surfside Motel in Seaside Heights, a few blocks away. Officers went to a room at the Offshore Motel, where they located the body of Perreault with apparent wounds to her neck; Perreault was pronounced deceased at the scene. Officers then went to Ruiz’s room at the Surfside Motel, and discovered that he had experienced an apparent drug overdose.
Ruiz was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River under the protective custody of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and a subsequent investigation offered proof Ruiz behind the slaying. He has been lodged in “a secure medical facility” ever since, prosecutors said.