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Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 1, 2023, John Filistovich, 59, of Lakewood, was charged with Murder, in connection with the death of Betty Perry, 60, of Lakewood.


On May 30, 2023, at approximately 12:15 p.m., Lakewood Township Police responded to a residence on Thornbury Court to conduct a welfare check on Betty Perry.  Responding Officers made entry into the residence and found the deceased body of a female, later identified as Betty Perry, on the floor of the bedroom.


A subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that Filistovich and Ms. Perry lived together and were in a dating relationship. Further investigation revealed that a 2015 Hyundai Elantra belonging to Ms. Perry was not at the residence.


On May 30, 2023, investigating Detectives received information that Maryland State Troopers encountered Filistovich on the side of the road near Salisbury, Maryland, in the victim’s vehicle.  Filistovich was transported to a local medical facility in Salisbury.  On May 30, 2023, Filistovich was charged with Theft in connection with the unlawful taking of Ms. Perry’s vehicle.


On May 31, 2023, the Ocean County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination of Ms. Perry and determined the cause of death to be blunt force injuries to the head, neck, and chest with asphyxiation and the manner of death to be homicide.


On June 1, 2023, Filistovich was released from the medical facility in Salisbury, Maryland and taken into custody.  He was transferred to the Wicomico County Corrections Center in Salisbury, Maryland.  Upon his extradition to New Jersey, Filistovich will be lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.


Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, Maryland State Police and Salisbury (Maryland) Police Department, for their collective and cooperative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Filistovich’s apprehension.


The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

R.P.C.  3.6(b) (6).