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Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on July 8, 2021, Jorge Santiago-Garcia, 32, of Lakewood, was indicted by a Grand Jury sitting in Ocean County on charges of Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1); Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d, in connection with the death Rodrigo Jimenez-Paz in Lakewood on August 31, 2020.

On August 31, 2020, members of the Lakewood Township Police Department were called to a business on 2nd Ave in Lakewood in response to multiple 911 call indicating an individual had been stabbed at that location.  Responding Officers found Rodrigo Jimenez-Paz, age 29, of Lakewood, with a stab wound to his chest.  Medical units transported Mr. Jimenez-Paz to Jersey Shore University Medical Center; lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful, and he was subsequently pronounced dead.  An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit and Lakewood Police Department identified Jorge Santiago-Garcia as the individual who stabbed Mr. Jimenez-Paz.  Santiago-Garcia was arrested and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his arrest.

Prosecutor Billhimer wishes to acknowledge the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke who is handling the case on behalf of the State and also 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, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their outstanding and collaborative efforts in this investigation which lead to Santiago-Garcia’s indictment.

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).