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Office of Public Affairs (609) 882-2000
Capt. Stephen Jones - ext. 6513
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Tpr. Alina Gutierrez-Spies - ext. 6531

September 11, 2014

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State Police Arrest Two Men for the Murder
of Jennifer Cruz-Chavez

Fairfield Township, N.J. - Detectives from the New Jersey State Police Major Crimes Unit, and Troop "A" Criminal Investigations Office, working in cooperation with the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office, have arrested Jose Martinez, 27, and Omar Galvez, 34, both from Bridgeton, N.J., for the murder of Jennifer Cruz-Chavez.

On Sunday, August 24, at approximately 4:35 p.m., troopers responded to Buckshutem Road in the area of milepost 4 for the report of a body being discovered by hunters in a wooded area located just off of the roadway. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene before being taken to Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point, N.J. On the following day, the post mortem examination conducted by the Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be homicide as a result of multiple blunt force trauma.

Over the past three weeks, detectives discovered that the victim was last seen getting into a van with the suspects after leaving a party at a Bridgeton City residence, and that both men reside at 18 Ellis Square in Bridgeton City.

On September 10, detectives obtained search warrants for suspects’ residence and their vehicles. As a result of the warrants, investigators seized evidence pertinent to the investigation. Later that day, detectives assisted by the New Jersey State Police Fugitive Unit arrested Jose Martinez at his residence, and Omar Galvez at Bridgeton Station.

"This was a senseless act of violence that tragically ended a life too soon," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. "I would like to commend our investigators and partnering agencies for their outstanding work that resulted in the expedient arrest of these individuals."

The suspects were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and both were lodged at the Cumberland County Jail in lieu of $1,000,000 full cash bail.

Jose Martinez was additionally charged with hindering apprehension and obstruction of justice for providing false information about his identity. He received an additional bail set at $12,500 full cash.

A First Appearance/Arraignment will be held in the matter of State v. Jose Martinez and Omar Galvez before the Honorable Robert G. Malestein, J.S.C. at the Cumberland County Courthouse on Monday, September 15, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. The prosecution is being handled by Saverio Carroccia, Senior Trial Attorney of the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office.

Charges are mere accusations and the suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Click images for larger view
Jose Martinez, 27, of Bridgeton, N.J. Omar Galvez, 34, of Bridgeton, N.J.

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