Released Murder Suspect Alarms Residents - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Released Murder Suspect Alarms Residents

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CAPE MAY COUNTY, N.J. -

A man suspected of killing an elderly woman in Puerto rice was released from a Cape May county jail. Residents and police want to know how this could happen.

Word has spread quickly that an accused murderer is roaming Cape May County. Middle Township Police Chief tells us he's been fielding angry calls and emails and he feels the same frustration but legally he tells us there's nothing he can do.

Some Middle Township, NJ residents, who didn't want to be identified, say they've seen 25 year old Jonathan Rodriguez-Ocasio hanging out around town.

"I remember because he had tattoos. The tear drop..." the anonymous person said.

Neighbors say they had no idea the young man is wanted for the murder of an 84 year-old woman during an apparent burglary in Puerto Rico.

The Cape May County Prosecutor's office says it acted on a tip and arrested the fugitive on an active warrant, but in an odd set of circumstances police were forced to release him back into the community last week because they say Puerto Rican authorities are refusing to take him back.

Chief Christopher Leusner of the Middle Township Police Department said "I'm extremely frustrated...I think it's absolutely ridiculous that the authorities in PR will not come and extradite."

According to police, Rodriguez-Ocasio has apparently been spotted in a mobile home community off of route 9 and neighbors reported seeing him in the area of the Grande Center Strip Mall.

"I'm very scared, very scared because you know he could break into anybody's house," neighbor Janice Devine told us.

Chief Leusner tells us he has also been working with news reporters in Puerto Rico on the case to try to better understand all of this.

"They're saying in their news reports that the main witness refused to cooperate and if that's the case why wouldn't they dismiss the charges?" Leusner asked.

Chief Leusner said local law enforcement even offered to pay for the extradition, but still he tells us Puerto Rican authorities said no and now his hands are tied.

"I don't have any legal recourse to take him into custody right now under the law I cannot do that, "Leusner said.

Someone needs to take action. The last thing anybody wants is for someone to take matters into their own hands.

The police chief says if Puerto Rico authorities decide to drop the charges against Mr. Rodriguez-Ocasio then he'll drop the issue, but right now both the FBI and New Jersey state police are looking into how and why police in Puerto Rico aren't doing their part

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