NJ man charged with murder after DNA break in 2013 cold case
🔎 A maintenance worker is charged with murder for a 2013 killing thanks to DNA
🔎 Carol Reiff's decomposed body was found in the woods near her apartment
🔎 Investigators spoke with the suspected killer just after they located the body
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP — Authorities have charged a man with murder for the killing of a Blackwood woman nearly a decade ago thanks to advances in DNA technology.
Carol Reiff, 59, was missing for several days before police found her body in the woods near the Lakeview Apartments on June 24, 2013. Her death remained unsolved until just recently.
Camden County Prosecutor Grace MacAulay said that DNA was collected from Reiff's apartment at the time of her death. But there were no matches because the results were inconclusive.
Then on Wednesday morning, U.S. Marshals arrested Joseph Grisoff in Moorestown. A recent development in DNA testing led to the 59-year-old Mount Laurel man, according to MacAulay. He is being held at Camden County jail on a charge of first-degree murder.
🔎 A mom gone missing
Carol Reiff disappeared on June 21, 2013. Her family reported her missing after she didn't show up for a scheduled visit with relatives in Manahawkin.
When she didn't answer calls to her cell phone, the Gloucester Township police sent officers to conduct a well-being check at her residence at the Lakeview Apartments. They found Reiff's car in the parking lot and her keys inside her apartment. But Reiff was gone.
Three days later, investigators located her body in the woods behind a maintenance building for the apartment complex. Her body was badly decomposed; authorities had to use dental records to make an identification.
The state of decomposition also made it difficult to establish a cause of death. While her death was not ruled a homicide, it was considered a suspicious death, and investigators treated the case as a criminal probe.
🔎 Police spoke with suspected killer
Shortly after police found Reiff's body in the woods behind a maintenance building, detectives spoke with a maintenance worker who lived nearby.
Joseph Grisoff, 59, told investigators he had regularly seen the victim jogging outside and had even complimented her, according to MacAulay. But he denied ever having been inside her apartment.
DNA samples taken from a pair of jeans and a beer bottle inside Reiff's apartment now show that was likely not true, MacAulay said. A statement from the prosecutor's office said that tests revealed a "strong proposition" that both Reiff and Grisoff contributed to the DNA profiles.
Nearly a decade after he spoke with detectives for the first time, Grisoff was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder.
“I’m thankful to the detectives and assistant prosecutors who remained dedicated to this case and to holding the person responsible who unjustly took Ms. Reiff from her loved ones," MacAulay said.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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