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How Did Michelle Lodzinski Get Out Of Prison?

In 1991, seeing a kid’s face on a milk carton or presented in prominent places like America’s Most Wanted was becoming increasingly typical. According to a 1988 study done by The Justice Department, “As many as 4,600 children were kidnapped nationally by non-family members in 1988, and more than 100,000 were the targets of attempted abductions primarily by passing motorists,” according to The Washington Post.

According to the research, of the 4,600 children under 18 years old, “200 to 300 youngsters vanished for longer periods or were murdered.” On May 25, 1991, Timothy Wiltsey was with his mother Michelle Lodzinski at a carnival in Sayreville, N.J., when he disappeared.

His body was discovered less than ten miles from there five months later. Dateline is returning to this perplexing tale about his mother being convicted for his murder 25 years after his death. Where is Michelle Lodzinski now? Here’s what we know so far. How Did Michelle Lodzinski Get Out Of Prison?

Michelle Lodzinski Now

Michelle Lodzinski was released from prison in April of this year, after spending almost six years there for the 1991 murder of her 5-year-old son Timothy Wiltsey. This tale is full of plot twists and turns, as well as a side order of perplexingly false statements. It’s clear that Michelle Lodzinski has committed a number of awful acts in her life; however, mistakes do not make someone guilty. So how did she end up being convicted?

According to My Central Jersey, “Before the FBI and cops could find Tim’s dismembered remains — a skull with bone parts of his jaw, arms and legs – he had been dead for months, having been buried in water. Despite the fact that his manner of death was never established, he was declared a homicide.” Police were always suspicious of Lodzinski because she couldn’t seem to keep her lies straight.

After Timothy vanished, Lodzinski had already taken and failed two lie detector tests. Evidently, after returning from the carnival, Lodzinski claimed several different versions of when Timothy disappeared. She initially said she couldn’t locate him when going for a soda. The tales then got stranger still.

Despite these tall tales, there was no hard evidence to suggest Lodzinski murdered her own kid. They kept an eye on the case for years, and never fully gave up hope. Then someone remembered a blue and white blanket that Timothy’s body had been wrapped in. That’s how Michelle Lodzinski was arrested.

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What Happened With The Blue And White Blanket?

According to My Central Jersey, when Lodzinski’s mother and her were shown the blanket, they both claimed not to have seen it until Timothy’s body was discovered. Police wanted to show the blanket to one of Timothy’s old nannies as well as Lodzinski’s niece in 2014. Both confirmed that they recognized the blanket as belonging to Timothy.

In August 2014, Lodzinski was charged with murder after being accused of murdering her son. The case was based primarily on circumstantial evidence, with one jury member dismissed for conducting independent internet research, but Lodzonski was found guilty on May 18, 2016 (NJ.com) and was sentenced to 30 years in prison on January 5, 2017.

How Did Michelle Lodzinski Get Out Of Prison?

In August 2019, NJ.com reported that a three-judge appellate panel “denies Lodzinski’s appeal, saying there was sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Timothy’s death was neither suicide nor an accident, but rather he was the victim of a murder.” However, because his attorney did not want to give up so easily, he appealed all the way to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which agreed in February 2020 to review the case.

The defendant’s attorneys argue that the presiding judge in the original trial should have declared a mistrial when one jury was dismissed after it was discovered he was Googling his own small answers. Lodzinski’s attorney also claims there wasn’t enough evidence to convict her. There wasn’t any blood found in her vehicle, and the blanket had no DNA on it to link it to Lodzinski or her residence, as proven by forensics.

They decided to “take an unprecedented second look at the conviction of Lodzinski with the addition of a ‘tie-breaker,’ as the court again hears the case,” according to NJ.com, after a split decision from New Jersey’s Supreme Court. Judge Jose L. Fuentes was assigned as the tie-breaker for this retrial. This time, the court ruled in favor of overturning the conviction, thus vacating both juries’ decisions from their original trial. For additional information about this story, watch Dateline Friday April 29 at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.

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