New Jersey woman uses tape dispenser, shower rod to kill roommate, prosecutors say

New Jersey woman uses shower rod, tape dispenser to kill roommate

TOMS RIVER, N.J. — A New Jersey woman has been accused of using a tape dispenser and shower rod to cause her male roommate’s death last month, authorities said.

Mary Carbone, 56, of Toms River, is charged with murder, two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Carbone is accused of killing Frank Stochel, 55, inside his home, which they shared. Stochel was a former longtime custodian at Manchester Township High School.

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Manchester Township police officials said officers were called to the home Feb. 24 on a report of an unresponsive man, who was identified as Stochel. He was found dead on the floor of the home.

An autopsy performed the following day indicated his death was a homicide, authorities said. The exact cause of death has not been released.

Investigators from the Manchester Township police force, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and the prosecutor’s office determined that Carbone lived with Stochel at the home.

“This cooperative investigation further revealed that several household items were used by Ms. Carbone in the commission of this murder,” a news release from the prosecutor’s office said. “Specially, a tape dispenser and a shower rod were recovered from the scene.

“The injuries sustained by Mr. Stochel were consistent with the implementation of these items.”

Additional investigation pointed to Carbone as Stochel’s alleged killer, the news release said. She was arrested Wednesday.

See footage from the crime scene below, courtesy of the Asbury Park Press.

“This truly was a team effort in terms of the investigation. These detectives combed through a ton of forensic evidence to ultimately determine that Ms. Carbone did in fact cause Mr. Stochel’s death,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said in a statement. “We were able to determine very early on in this investigation that there was no immediate danger to the public. From there, these detectives went to work doing what they do best. For that, every law enforcement officer involved in this investigation has my profound gratitude.”

Stochel’s obituary states he is survived by a wife and daughter, but social media profiles indicate he and his wife were separated when he was killed. A Dallas Cowboys fan, he collected coins and sports memorabilia.

His Facebook page indicates he may have been having financial trouble. In the last several weeks of his life, he posted a number of items for sale, including a truck and the home in which he died.

As of Feb. 14, he lived there alone, he wrote.

“Do not want to sell but there’s four bedrooms,” Stochel wrote. “I live by myself. It’s too big for me.”

According to the Asbury Park Press, Stochel and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in late 2015. He filed for bankruptcy again by himself in October, but the case was later dismissed, the newspaper said.

Stochel also had multiple brushes with the law, including assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and eluding charges over the past five years.

The newspaper reported that court records indicate Stochel faced outstanding charges of burglary, criminal mischief, harassment and making terroristic threats stemming from two cases last fall. He also had an outstanding charge of theft of services from January.

It was not immediately clear if Carbone has a criminal record.

Mary Carbone, 56, of Toms River, N.J., is charged with murder and weapons charges in the Feb. 24, 2020, killing of Frank Stochel, 55, inside the home they shared.
Mary Carbone, 56, of Toms River, N.J., is charged with murder and weapons charges in the Feb. 24, 2020, killing of Frank Stochel, 55, inside the home they shared. (Manchester Township Police Department)