Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced Wednesday that John Filistovich, 59, of Lakewood, was indicted by a grand jury sitting in Ocean County on charges of murder and theft in connection with the death of Betty Perry, 60, of Lakewood, which occurred on May 30, 2023.
Filistovich was captured in Maryland after the alleged murder took place, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since being released from a medical facility in Salisbury, Md. in June.
According to prosecutors, the charges stem from May 30, 2023, when at approximately 12:15 p.m., officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department responded to a residence on Thornbury Court to conduct a welfare check on Betty Perry. Responding officers made entry into the residence and found the deceased body of a female, later identified as Perry, 60, on the floor of the bedroom.
A subsequent investigation by the county and local detectives revealed that Filistovich and Ms. Perry had been living together and were in a dating relationship. They also found that a 2015 Hyundai Elantra belonging to Perry had been taken from the residence.
Later in the day on May 30, investigating detectives received information that Maryland state troopers had encountered Filistovich on the side of the road near Salisbury, Md., in the victim’s vehicle. Filistovich was transported to a local medical facility in Salisbury and was charged in connection with the theft of Perry’s vehicle.
The next day, the Ocean County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination of Perry, and determined the cause of her death to be “blunt force injuries to the head, neck, and chest with asphyxiation, and the manner of death to be homicide,” prosecutors said in a statement. “The investigation in this matter resulted in Filistovich being identified as the individual responsible for Ms. Perry’s death, and he was formally charged with her murder on June 1, 2023.”
Upon being released from a medical facility in Salisbury on June 1, 2023, Filistovich was taken into custody without incident. He was subsequently transferred to the Wicomico County Corrections Center, also located in Salisbury, and thereafter extradited to Ocean County.