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Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on October 18, 2023, John Filistovich, 59, of Lakewood, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on charges of Murder and Theft in connection with the death of Betty Perry, 60, of Lakewood, which occurred on May 30, 2023.


On May 30, 2023, at approximately 12:15 p.m., Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department 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 Ms. 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 had been living together and were in a dating relationship.  Further investigation revealed that a 2015 Hyundai Elantra belonging to Ms. Perry had been taken from the residence.


Later in the day on May 30, 2023, investigating Detectives received information that Maryland State Troopers had 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 that date, Filistovich was charged in connection with the theft 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 her death to be blunt force injuries to the head, neck, and chest with asphyxiation, and the manner of death to be homicide.  The investigation in this matter resulted in Filistovich being identified as the individual responsible for Ms. Perry’s death, and he was formally charged with her murder on June 1, 2023.


Upon being released from the medical facility in Salisbury, Maryland, on June 1, 2023, Filistovich was taken into custody without incident.  He was subsequently transferred to the Wicomico County Corrections Center, also located in Salisbury, and thereafter extradited to Ocean County.  Filistovich has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his extradition to New Jersey.


Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke who presented the case to the Grand Jury on behalf of the State, and 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.



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).