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Arrest Made in May 2022 Maple Shade Motel Murder  

Burlington County

By: Richard L. Smith 

Burlington County authorities reported that a 26-year-old Philadelphia man has been arrested for killing a woman inside a Maple Shade motel earlier this year. 

Burlington County official said Mr. Alexander Rivera, of the 6300 block of Cardiff Street in the Mayfair section of the city, was taken into custody without incident at his residence on November 4 by the U.S. Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force.

He was jailed in Philadelphia pending an extradition hearing later this month.

The case will be prepared for presentation to a grand jury for possible indictment. 

Officials said the investigation began just before 11:30 a.m. on May 11 after officers from the Maple Shade Police Department were called to the Bel-Air Motor Lodge on Route 73 for a report of an unresponsive female.  

Michelle L. Johnston, 36, who had previously lived in multiple locations in the Burlington and Camden county areas, was found deceased in room 410.

According to Burlington County officials, an autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined the cause of death was strangulation and multiple stab wounds. 

The motive for the crime remains under investigation.

The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Maple Shade Police Department, with assistance from the Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Unit and the Burlington County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The lead investigators are BCPO Detectives Shawn McDonough and Melyssa Alonso and MSPD Detective Anthony Blinebury.

All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.