Public Notices and Press Releases

Major Crimes Unit Honored for Excellence in Homicide Investigation

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit received recognition from the New Jersey Homicide Investigators Association (NJHIA) for their outstanding work on the Baby Mary cold case. The award was presented at the 29th Annual Advanced Homicide Conference at Princeton University on June 13, 2024.

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Baby Mary case dates back to Christmas Eve 1984, when the body of a newborn girl was found in the Mendham Township woods by two boys. The baby, named “Baby Mary,” had her umbilical cord still attached, and it was determined that she was alive at birth. Her death was ruled a homicide.

For nearly four decades, investigators from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) and the Mendham Police Department pursued every lead to uncover Baby Mary’s identity and the circumstances surrounding her death. In 2023, advancements in technology, extensive law enforcement networking across three states, and diligent investigative work led to the identification of Baby Mary’s biological parents. Her biological father had passed away before being identified and was unaware of the pregnancy and Baby Mary’s birth and death.

The persistent efforts of the MCPO and Mendham Township Police culminated in a juvenile delinquency complaint filed against Baby Mary’s biological mother, Mary Catherine Crumlich, on April 24, 2023. Crumlich, a juvenile at the time of Baby Mary’s birth, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on February 28, 2024. On April 3, 2024, Judge Michael P. Wright, J.S.C., sentenced Crumlich to probation, with the condition of serving 364 days in the Morris County Correctional Facility.

Prosecutor Carroll said, “Congratulations to the men and women of the Major Crimes Unit and the Mendham Township Police Department, who brought closure to a heartbroken community and justice for a little girl abandoned four decades ago. The new forensic DNA technology was just one step in the complex and exhaustive investigation, across multiple states, which the members of the MCU team utilized to bring this case to fruition. I cannot overstate the amount of effort that went into this case. Mendham Township PD, and the hard-working investigators of the MCU, never forgot Baby Mary.”

The NJHIA honored several members of the MCPO Major Crimes Unit for their roles in solving the case: Lt. Michael Gomez, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Schellhorn, Sgt. Sasha Gould, Sgt. Matt Magnone, Det. Melissa Atoche, Det. Matthew Belcastro, Det. Greg Federici, Det. Dakota Keyworth, and Det. Muhammad Thomas. Additionally, investigative support members were recognized, including Mendham Township Police Chief Ross Johnson, FS3 Christine Schlenker of the NJSP Office of Forensic Sciences, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Det. Rosie Brown, and Mendham Township Police Lt. Steve Bittman, Sgt. Matthew Ambrosi, and Det. Jim Arnesen.

The NJHIA aims to provide advanced training for homicide detectives, foster a network for information-sharing among law enforcement, and support officers and their families through charitable events and donations.

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