Pemberton Man Indicted in Murder of Man Whose Remains Were Discovered in Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato today announced the six count indictment of Alan McGinnis, 27, of Pemberton, for the Murder of Cody MacPherson whose remains were discovered in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area this past March. 

According to police, on September 24th 2017, Pemberton Township Police Detectives filed a missing person report for Cody MacPherson, 21, who recently moved to Browns Mills from Portage, Indiana.

Officials say on March 19th, at 1:32 p.m., the Jackson Township Police Department received a call from Richard Byrne, a District Warden with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. Warden Byrne was conducting a controlled burn in the area between 433 and 483 South Stump Tavern Road in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, when he observed human remains under logs close to the area of the burn.  He then moved closer and noticed what he believed to be a human skull.  Warden Byrne then contacted his supervisor via radio and requested a suppression team to respond to put out the burn in the area to preserve the evidence.

Detectives from the New Jersey State Police Homicide Unit were contacted, and Detective Shaun Clark was assigned to work the investigation with the Major Crime Homicide Unit of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Initial identification was made showing that the remains found were most likely those of Cody MacPherson, the missing person out of Burlington County.

According to authorities, on March 20th at 10 a.m., a Post Mortem Examination was conducted at Community Medical Center’s in Toms River. The Forensic Pathologist assigned was Dr. Dante Ragasa, who received assistance from Anna Delaney, a Forensic Anthropologist, and Dr. Stewart Alexander, a Forensic Odonatologist. Subsequent to the examination, Dr. Ragasa ruled the cause of death to be a stab wound to the left abdomen and the manner of death to be homicide. Dr. Alexander took photographs and X-rays of the teeth, and determined that all dental work observed was consistent with the records obtained for the missing person, Cody MacPherson.

Officials say on April 17, D/Sgt. Joseph Itri of the NJSP was contacted by Anna Delaney, a Forensic Anthropologist, who informed him that the NJSP Laboratory positively identified the remains found in Jackson Township to be those of Cody MacPherson by DNA analysis. On April 21st 2018 at approximately 6 a.m., two residential search warrants were executed in Pemberton Township and Jackson Township. 

The investigation revealed that during the early hours of September 24, 2017, Alan McGinnis of Pemberton, NJ allegedly stabbed Cody MacPherson multiple times at the residence of 234 Pardee Blvd in Pemberton Township. McGinnis then used a vehicle available at the residence to transport the victim in the trunk to the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area on South Stump Tavern Road in Jackson. 

According to authorities, McGinnis later traveled back to Pemberton where the scene was cleaned of visible blood and other evidence of the murder. Approximately one week later, the suspect returned to the site in which he disposed of the victim to destroy evidence associated with the crime.

Officials say Alan McGinnis is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail.