Acting Essex County Theodore N. Stephens and Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose announced today that an Essex County grand jury returned an indictment charging Gualberto Lebron, 35, with murdering the mother of his children, Julia Vega, 30, of Newark.
The grand jury also indicted his older brother, Gilberto Lebron, Jr., 36, for helping cover up the murder.
It is alleged that on May 5, 2018, Gualberto Lebron assaulted the mother of his young children at her home in Newark. Newark Police were called, but he fled the scene before they arrived.
Officials said that on May 9, 2018, Vega, left work at a local daycare center to go home and walk her dogs during her lunch break.
The defendant, Gualberto Lebron, allegedly followed her to her residence and murdered her inside. At the time of the murder, the two were estranged.
It is further alleged that he then used her minivan to transport her body away from her complex. Vega was reported missing that day, and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force was brought in to assist with the missing person's search.
The investigation revealed that Gualberto Lebron, with the assistance of his brother, Gilberto Lebron, placed Vega's remains in sealed garbage bags with chemicals intended to disintegrate her remains.
Gualberto Lebron was arrested by the U.S. Marshals and the Newark Fugitive Apprehension Team after a manhunt and car chase on May 11, 2019. Following an extensive search around the state, Vega's remains were recovered in a chemical slurry in the rear of an abandoned property in Irvington on June 1, 2018.
Gualberto Lebron has been indicted for murder, felony murder, sexual assault, desecration of human remains, burglary, robbery, stalking, aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children and hindering apprehension.
The brother, Gilberto Lebron, has been indicted for desecration of human remains, hindering apprehension, destruction of evidence and illegal possession of weapons.
The brothers remain at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.
Assistant Prosecutor Adam Wells is handling the prosecution. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force, which include detectives from the Newark Police Department, handled the investigation.
These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.