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Michelle Lodzinski Pleads Not Guilty In Son's 1991 NJ Murder

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A Florida woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to killing her 5-year-old son in New Jersey 23 years ago.

Michelle Lodzinski, who appeared at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, is charged with killing Timothy Wiltsey in 1991.

"She's denied them (the charges), and we're going to hold the state to its proofs 23 years later," her attorney, Gerald Krovatin, told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

Michelle Lodzinski Pleads Not Guilty In Son's 1991 NJ Murder

Krovatin entered the not-guilty plea on Lodzinski's behalf.

Lodzinski, 46, has been in custody since her Aug. 7 arrest. She's was extradited to New Jersey on Friday and is being held in the county jail on $2 million bail.

She had said her son disappeared at a carnival, but prosecutor Scott LaMountain said Lodzinski's story changed seven times and she failed to mention relevant information.

"The defendant, Michelle Lodzinski, never mentioned to law enforcement that she, in fact, at a prior time worked in Raritan Center," LaMountain said.

Timothy's skeletal remains were found 11 months later in a marshy area of Edison near where Lodzinski once worked.

As CBS 2's Tony Aiello reported, prosecutors also say they have evidence against Lodzinski, including a blanket found near Timothy's body.

Investigators say Lodzinski and her mother both denied recognizing the blanket, but recently showed it to another key witness.

"An individual who was a relative and a babysitter for Michelle Lodzinski was shown the blanket and immediately recognized it," LaMountain said.

Lodzinski's defense attorney made it clear he believes the case is weak.

"We heard the explanation of a blanket just now, but criminal cases don't get better with age so we'll be very eager to hear what the state's theory is based on this newly-discovered evidence 23 years later," Krovatin said.

Lodzinski went into seclusion after her son's remains were discovered, and neighbors said at the time that she didn't appear distraught.

After the discovery, Lodzinski said she couldn't make people believe her.

"What can I say to people? I don't know anymore," Lodzinski said at the time. "How am I supposed to act normally? I don't think anyone after losing a child should have to go outside and explain to the public how they feel."

Police in Middlesex County said a routine cold case review prompted a new investigation.

In late July, a county grand jury handed up a one-count indictment stating she "did purposely or knowingly kill'' Timothy or did "purposely or knowingly inflict serious bodily injury'' resulting in his death.

Lodzinski has run into other legal troubles over the years since her son died.

She surfaced in Michigan in January 1994 and said two men claiming to be FBI agents had abducted her at gunpoint outside her apartment building, forced her into a black SUV and drove her to Detroit, where they let her out.

She pleaded guilty in 1995 to making false statements to the FBI and fraudulently using the agency's seal. She was sentenced to probation.

In 1997, Lodzinski was charged with stealing a computer from her former employer. She pleaded guilty to a theft charge in 1998. A federal judge sentenced her to house arrest after she admitted she committed a crime while on probation.

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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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