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Florida Mom Charged In New Jersey Cold Case Death Appears In Court

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A Florida woman charged in the death of her 5-year-old son who was reported missing from a carnival in New Jersey in 1991 made a brief court appearance on Thursday.

Michelle Lodzinski, 47, has been held on $2 million bail since her arrest Wednesday in Jensen Beach, Fla., the same day her son would have turned 29.

It's not known if the Port St. Lucie, Fla., resident will waive extradition and return to New Jersey.

Middlesex County, New Jersey police said a routine cold case review prompted a new investigation, leading a Middlesex County grand jury to hand up an indictment charging the 47-year-old with the murder of her son, Timothy Wiltsey.

Timothy Wiltsey
Timothy Wiltsey, 5, was found dead in 1992, several months after disappearing from a New Jersey carnival. His mother, Michelle Lodzinski, 47, was arrested and charged with his death on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. (Credit: CBS 2)

The grand jury charged that Lodzinski "did purposely or knowingly kill Timothy Wiltsey, or did purposely or knowingly inflict serious bodily injury upon Timothy Wiltsey, resulting in his death," prosecutors said.

She told authorities her son disappeared at a carnival in Sayreville in May 1991. His skeletal remains were found in April 1992 in nearby Edison.

Archived footage from CBS 2 shows hundreds of volunteers sifting through the large, grassy area along the waterfront in the search of clues from Timothy's disappearance.

As CBS 2 reported, it is unclear what evidence led the grand jury to accuse Lodzinski of killing her son.

Retired Sayreville Police Captain Edward Szkodny, who did not want to go on tape, said it was a long time coming, WCBS 880's Levon Putney reported.

Florida Mom Charged In New Jersey Cold Case Due In Court

Szkodny said Lodzinski was always a suspect and that she gave police several very different accounts of what happened. Now, he said he's just hoping justice will be served.

Jamie Koenig was visiting family members buried at a Keyport cemetery, she told CBS 2 that he often stops and thinks about Timmy Wiltsey.

"Just hope he was at peace, you know, and hope that sometime, someone would figure out how he died," Koenig said.

One woman who helped search for Timmy in 1991, recalled seeing Lodzinksi and thinking that something wasn't quite right.

"Way too calm. I think I was more emotional than she was. My mom and my sister had come, good friend of mine, we were all upset, making fliers, trying to help find him and she just seemed way too calm," Sheryl Francisco said.

Lodzinski admitted lying to the FBI about being abducted to Michigan in 1994 and pleaded guilty to theft in 1997.

Lodzinksi had two more children in Florida, they are now being cared for by family members.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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