Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on December 9, 2022, Gerardo Ruiz, 51, of Seaside Heights, was sentenced by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P., to 35 years New Jersey State Prison as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter in connection with the death of Alecia Perreault, 29, also of Seaside Heights, that occurred in the early morning hours of May 1, 2021, in Seaside Heights. This sentence will be subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, meaning that Ruiz will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Ruiz pled guilty before Judge Ryan on September 28, 2022.
On May 1, 2021, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Seaside Heights Police received a telephone call from an individual claiming to have knowledge that Ruiz killed a female at the Offshore Motel in Seaside Heights. The caller further advised that Ruiz was staying at the Surfside Motel in Seaside Heights. Officers responded to a room at the Offshore Motel, where they located the body of Ms. Perreault with apparent wounds to her neck; Ms. Perreault was pronounced deceased at the scene. Officers subsequently responded to Ruiz’s room at the Surfside Motel, and discovered that he had experienced an apparent drug overdose. Ruiz was thereafter transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River – under the protective custody of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Seaside Heights Police Department Detective Bureau, determined that Ruiz was the individual responsible for Ms. Perreault’s death. Since being released from Community Medical Center, Ruiz has been detained in a secure medical facility.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Assistant Prosecutor Kimberly Carr who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Seaside Heights Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in Ruiz’s apprehension, guilty plea, and now his lengthy state prison sentence.