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UPDATE: Woman Charged with Harboring Fugitive After Toms River Standoff

Toms River

By: Richard L. Smith 

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Elizabeth Mascarelli, 29, of Seaside Heights, was charged with Harboring a Fugitive from Justice on July 6, 2024, following events that unfolded in Toms River on July 5, 2024.SupportOn July 5, detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Manchester Township Police Department, and United States Marshals Service located Maxwell Johnston, 35, of Manchester Township, at a residence on Ravenwood Drive in Toms River.


Johnston was wanted in connection with the murder of Gabriella Caroleo, 25, of Seaside Heights, which occurred in Manchester Township on June 27, 2024.

Upon arriving at the residence, Marshals successfully called out three occupants. However, Johnston and Mascarelli remained inside, and it was discovered that Johnston was armed.

Negotiators attempted to persuade Johnston to surrender peacefully, but these efforts were unsuccessful.

After several hours, Mascarelli exited the residence and was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River to treat injuries sustained during the standoff.

The residence was later cleared using a drone, and Johnston was found in a bedroom, deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Further investigation revealed that Mascarelli had allowed Johnston to stay at the residence for four days, despite knowing about the murder of Caroleo and Johnston’s alleged involvement.

As a result, Mascarelli was charged with Hindering a Fugitive from Justice and served with the charge at the hospital. She will be transferred to the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.