Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Jeffrey Nelson of the Dunellen Police Department announced today that authorities are investigating the death of a 52-year-old woman, whose body was burned in a fire in a field located near the NJ Transit railway and South Second Street in the borough.
Carol Ann N. Fratesi was identified as the victim whose remains were recovered from the fire, which was reported at 8:35 p.m. last night.
While the death appears to be suspicious, the cause has yet to be determined.
The results of an autopsy by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office were not immediately available.
During the investigation, an individual identified as Stephen Barry, 54, was arrested and charged in an unrelated case with burglary, possession of a burglary tool and terroristic threats for threatening police officers.
The officers were investigating the death when they were threatened by Barry, who is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick in lieu of $100,000 bail. Barry has not been charged in connection with the death of Ms. Fratesi.
The investigation began when railroad workers on the Raritan Valley Line saw the field fire and contacted NJ Transit Police, who notified Dunellen Police.
The victim was discovered as the brief fire was extinguished by Dunellen firefighters.
The investigation is active and is continuing.