New Jersey teen who cops say strangled 19-year-old Sarah Stern allegedly called accomplice before and after slaying
A New Jersey teen accused of killing a 19-year-old woman called an alleged accomplice before the murder as well as after, the friend told detectives.
Preston Taylor said that Liam McAtasney contacted him before the slaying of Sarah Stern in December, according to the Asbury Park Press. All three lived in Neptune City and were pals, with Taylor even taking Stern to the junior prom.
Prosecutors say that Taylor confessed to dumping Sarah Stern's body after McAtasney strangled her.
McAtasney called Taylor after he killed Stern and asked him to hide her body, according to prosecutors. Taylor allegedly hid the body behind bushes, and the two later returned and put her body in the front seat of her car. They then met at a bridge in Belmar and the two threw her body into the river, according to prosecutor Meghan Doyle said. Stern's body has not yet been found.
Investigators say McAtasney had planned Stern's murder for six months. Taylor's lawyer John Perrone said that his client tried to talk McAtasney out of killing Stern, but Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Meghan Doyle said that investigators found no evidence of that.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office determined that Taylor provided help to McAtasney "in moving and ultimately disposing of Stern's body in order to avoid detection."
Taylor, 19, has been charged with conspiracy, hindering apprehension and disposal of human remains. McAtasney, also 19, is facing charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, conspiracy, hindering apprehension and disposal of human remains.
Stern was last seen alive on Dec. 2. Both Taylor and McAtasney were among the nearly 100 people who volunteered to help search for Stern in the area surrounding the Shark River inlet after her car was found on the bridge in December.