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Local Man, Now a Fugitive, Charged in Shooting Death of Seaside Heights Woman

Maxwell Johnson (Photo: OCPO)

Maxwell Johnson (Photo: OCPO)

A local man charged with murdering a Seaside Heights resident remains on the loose and is considered a fugitive, prosecutors in Ocean County said Wednesday.

Maxwell Johnson, 35, of Manchester Township, has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of Gabriella Caroleo, 25, of Seaside Heights, in Manchester Township on June 27, 2024. Johnson was also charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, and being a certain person not to possess a weapon, all arising out of the same incident.

According to a statement from the prosecutor’s office, on June 27, 2024, at approximately 4:55 p.m., officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of Ridgeway Road and Hope Chapel Road in reference to a 911 call reporting a gunshot victim. Responding Officers discovered Caroleo with a gunshot wound to her stomach. She was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where she succumbed to her injuries.

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A joint investigation by local police, county detectives and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office identified Johnson as a suspect.

Johnson has not yet been taken into custody, and is considered a fugitive from justice. As such, a warrant for his arrest has been issued and his name has been entered in the National Crime Information Center database.

“We have been working diligently with our law enforcement partners to locate Johnson,” Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said. “Great teamwork has been exhibited by all of the respective law enforcement agencies and officers involved in this investigation. We are focused on finding Johnson and bring[ing] him into custody.”

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Maxwell Johnson is asked contact Detective Denis Mitchell of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, extension 2476, or Detective Richard Conklin of the Manchester Township Police Department at 732-657-2009, extension 4211.

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