FREEHOLD – An Ocean County man has been arrested for allegedly killing his wife and leaving her body on the side of a road in Ocean Township this past weekend, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.

Jeremy B. Cruz, 51, of Forked River is charged with First-Degree Murder in connection with the death of 51-year-old Dawn C. Cruz.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 30, a woman who appeared to have sustained severe injuries was observed by a concerned motorist at the intersection of Asbury and Colonial avenues in the Township of Ocean. Upon responding, Ocean Township Police Department officers located the victim, identified as Dawn Cruz, who was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene.

A short while later, Jeremy Cruz turned himself in to authorities at Berkeley Township Police Department headquarters in Ocean County. A joint investigation by members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean Township Police Department, Asbury Park Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and Berkeley Township Police Department ultimately led to the arrest and charging of Cruz. He remains in custody pending a first appearance and detention hearing to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.

This case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Caitlin J. Sidley of the Major Crimes Bureau. Information on Cruz’s legal representation was not immediately available. Convictions on Murder charges are commonly punishable by terms of up to life in state prison.

Anyone with information about this matter is being asked to contact MCPO Detective Aaron Shaw at 800-533-7443 or Ocean Township Police Department Detective Zachary Rhein at 732-531-1800.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.