He was 5, she was 6, and they were best buddies...
"When I graduated college, I thought, ‘Timmy didn’t get to graduate kindergarten,’ " said Tara Packard, now 26. "When I graduated high school, when I got my driver’s license — all these times — I’d think he didn’t get to do this because somebody murdered him."
This week will mark the 20-year anniversary of the disappearance of Timothy Wiltsey, a 5-year-old from South Amboy whose remains were found in a marshy area 11 months after he was reported missing. The case haunted the state and the nation, and it confounded authorities who quickly suspected the boy’s mother — Michelle Lodzinski — had played a role in his death.
Lodzinski has a new life in Port St. Lucie, Fla., with two kids who never knew their brother. She has repeatedly said she is innocent, and she has never been charged in his death. And the case still haunts New Jersey.
Police questioned a woman standing next to Lodzinski at the carnival concession stand that Saturday. She reported that Lodzinski didn’t say anything about her missing child and didn’t seem anxious. Police said not one person at the carnival saw a 50-pound boy with a crew cut, red tank top, red shorts and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sneakers.
On June 6, under questioning from Sayreville police, Lodzinski changed her story, according to former Sayreville police Capt. Edward Szkodny, who retired last year. Two men, one with a knife, took Timmy away, she said. The stunned detectives pressed her on her new account. But Lodzinski lowered her head and appeared to go into a trance.
Lodzinski returned later in the day with her sister and a friend and said she made up that newer version. The following day, a Monday, she told a third variation — that a female and two males were involved in Timmy’s abduction.
Lodzinski’s mother, Alice, told Butkiewicz that her daughter once worked for a company in the Raritan Center...The now-retired Butkiewicz said he had her point to it on a map. Her finger covered where Lodzinski worked and where the shoe was found. (Later, the 2nd shoe and the child's corpse)
"I won’t forget that till the day I die," Butkiewicz said.