Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on September 29, 2022, Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus, 49, of Brick Township, was found guilty of Murder in connection with the death of her wife, Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus, following a nearly three-week jury trial before the Honorable Rochelle Gizinski, J.S.C. The murder occurred sometime between May 16th and 17th, 2020, in Brick Township. In rendering its verdict, the jury – which deliberated for less than two hours – concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus purposely or knowingly caused the death of Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus, or that she purposely or knowingly caused serious bodily injury to Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus which resulted in her death. The jury also found Gavilanez-Alectus guilty of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. Specifically, the jury determined that Gavilanez-Alectus was guilty of using a cylindrical container used for the purpose of chilling wine in the commission of the murder. Gavilanez-Alectus is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Gizinski on November 17, 2022, at which time she faces a sentence of life in prison.
On May 17, 2020, Brick Township Police were summoned to a residence on Creek Road for a report of an unresponsive female. Upon arrival, Officers found the lifeless body of Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus in an upstairs bedroom of the residence. On May 18, 2020, the Ocean County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination of Ms. Gavilanez-Alectus’ body, and determined the manner of her death to be a homicide. A subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Brick Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that both the victim and the defendant resided at the Creek Road address. The investigation further revealed that a cylindrical container used for the purpose of chilling wine was utilized in the commission of the murder. The injuries sustained by Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus were consistent with the implementation of this item. Further investigation ultimately determined that Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus did, in fact, cause the victim’s death utilizing the wine chiller. On May 18, 2020, a warrant for the arrest of Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus was issued. On May 21, 2020, Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus was taken into custody by law enforcement in Houston, Texas. She was extradited back to New Jersey, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since her extradition.
Prosecutor Billhimer is deeply appreciative of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill and Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke’s efforts; they both ably and skillfully tried the case on behalf of the State. The Prosecutor likewise extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Brick Township Police Department, Brick Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, New York City Police Department, United States Marshals Service, and City of Houston Police Department, for their combined and collective efforts investigating and solving this heinous and senseless crime – ultimately leading to this guilty verdict.