New Jersey man accused of stabbing ex-classmate 37 times

A New Jersey man was charged with murder for allegedly killing a 27-year-old woman he attended high school with — stabbing her about 37 times while following a grisly step-by-step plan outlined in a manifesto, according to reports.

David Shroitman, 27, of Somerville, was arrested Monday on charges of first-degree murder, possession of a weapon, tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution in the death of Maryrose Fealey, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Fealey, a 2018 graduate of Rutgers Business School, had worked as a federal employee for the Naval Surface Warfare Center before taking a break “to focus on her life’s mission” as an advocate for people addicted to drugs, according to her obituary.

David Shroitman,
David Shroitman,

“She was always extremely supportive and had a big smile whenever she entered a room,” Ian Bockus, a member of the nonprofit Not An Easy Fix, said on Facebook.

“My friend group and I have dealt with a lot of loss over the years but never anything like this. It doesn’t make sense and it isn’t right but it’s times like this where we need to come together as a family and a community and offer our support.”

Maryrose Fealey -
Maryrose Fealey –

Fealey “was many things – a visual artist, anti-drug activist, entrepreneur, champion of the underdog, philanthropist, encourager, writer, and logistician,” the obit said, adding that “she was committed to her vision and efforts to empower youth and those battling addiction.”

The victim founded the nonprofit 4TheYoungerMe (4TYM) and was involved with Empower Somerset, in addition to Not An Easy Fix, it said.

Maryrose Fealey -
Maryrose Fealey –

“She firmly believed that “substance abuse does not define the person” and that “a toxic environment does not define the child’s future,” the obit said.

Shroitman graduated with Fealey from Somerville High School in 2014, My Central Jersey reported.

Police responded about 10:20 p.m. Jan. 30 to a 911 call about an unresponsive woman outside a residential complex on North Bridge Street in Somerville and discovered Fealey with “multiple apparent stab wounds,” officials said. She was pronounced dead at the scene after life-saving efforts failed,

David Shroitman pleaded not guilty
David Shroitman pleaded not guilty

Fealey was stabbed about 37 times after arriving home from a business in Bridgewater, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Patch.com. A relative told cops that her front passenger door was open and her belongings were strewn across the front yard.

On Feb. 1, police obtained dash cam video showing a man wearing a gray sweatshirt, a black face gaiter and thick-cushioned sneakers standing near Fealey’s home around 9 p.m. the night she was killed, according to the affidavit.

The following day, detectives tried to speak with Shroitman at a business in Bridgewater, but he refused.

They allegedly saw a white garbage bag over the driver’s seat of his Toyota Camry, as well as a black gaiter and duct tape, the affidavit states.

The break in the case came Sunday, when investigators obtained surveillance video from a home on East Cliff Street showing a man matching Shroitman’s description running about 9 p.m. on the night of the homicide.

A car believed to be his also was seen in the footage, the affidavit says.

Police later located Shroitman wearing clear latex gloves as he was cleaning the car, Patch.com reported, citing the affidavit.

Officers could smell the odor of bleach emanating from a puddle by the driver’s side of the Camry – and later found an apparently bloodied glove on East Cliff Street, according to the document.

Detectives executing a search warrant at Shroitman’s home discovered several bleach containers, as well as a manifesto laying out a step-by-step plan for the homicide, it states.

Luminol spray reportedly detected blood inside the home. A motive has not been released but authorities have confirmed that Shroitman and Fealey knew each other.

On Tuesday night, Shroitman pleaded not guilty through his public defender, Emma Pallarino, in his first appearance before a judge, My Central Jersey reported. He is scheduled to have a Friday detention hearing before Superior Court Judge Jonathan Romankow.