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Ex-Classmate Allegedly Stabbed Beloved Addiction Recovery Advocate 37 Times, Leaving Detailed Plan: Police

David C. Shroitman, 27, was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, possession of a weapon, tampering with physical evidence and hindering apprehension

<p>Somerset County Prosecutor

Somerset County Prosecutor's Office/Facebook; Mary Rose Fealey/Facebook

David C. Shroitman; Maryrose Fealey
  • David C. Shroitman, 27, was arrested Monday on multiple charges including first-degree murder

  • Authorities allege Schroitman fatally stabbed Maryrose Fealey, 27, approximately 37 times

  • Fealey was an addiction recovery specialist and founded the non-profit organization 4TheYoungerMe

A New Jersey man was arrested this week on accusations he fatally stabbed an ex-classmate who advocated passionately to help those addicted to drugs.

On Monday, David C. Shroitman, 27, was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, possession of a weapon, tampering with physical evidence and hindering apprehension in connection with the death of Maryrose Fealey, 27, according to a press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

Fealey was found by officers who responded to a 911 call outside an apartment complex in Somerville on Jan. 30, the release states. Fealey, who suffered multiple stab wounds, was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said she knew her alleged killer.

While authorities declined to share how the pair knew each other, Patch.com and MyCentralJersey.com reported that Shroitman graduated from Somerville High School with Healey in 2014.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Patch.com, Fealey was stabbed approximately 37 times and had returned home from a business in Bridgewater around 9 p.m. that night, roughly an hour and a half before police arrived on the scene and found her dead at 10:20 p.m. The affidavit states that Fealey’s car door was open with her belongings spread across the front yard.

On Feb. 1, police obtained dashboard camera footage showing a man wearing a gray sweatshirt, a black face gaiter and thick cushioned sneakers standing at the corner of the block near Fealey’s home around 9 p.m. the night she was killed, per the affidavit obtained by Patch.com. The following day, detectives tried to speak with Shroitman at a business in Bridgewater, but he refused. Detectives allegedly saw a white garbage bag over the driver’s seat of his car, as well as a black gaiter in the front passenger seat and duct tape in the back seat, the affidavit claims.

Authorities later obtained more surveillance footage showing a man matching Shroitman’s description allegedly running up and down Fealey’s street around 9:02 p.m. the night of her killing, according to the affidavit, which was also obtained by NJ.com. A vehicle believed to be Shroitman’s was also spotted in the footage.

On Sunday, police responded to a report of a suspicious person at a business in Somerville and allegedly found Shroitman wearing latex gloves while cleaning his car, according to the affidavit. Officers claimed they smelled bleach in a puddle near the driver’s side door. Later, officers said they recovered a latex glove with apparent blood on Fealey’s street.

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A search warrant was then granted and authorities searched Shroitman’s home, where they allege several bleach containers were recovered, along with a “manifesto laying out a plan step-by-step for the homicide,” the affidavit alleges. Investigators also allegedly detected blood in the entryway and bathroom through luminol spray tests and found clothing — some of which was covered in bleach — and sneakers matching the description of the man seen in the surveillance footage. The affidavit also alleges that Shroitman’s driver’s side car door was treated with bleach.

Shroitman was subsequently arrested and booked into the Somerset County Jail. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday and is still awaiting a detention hearing, MyCentralJersey.com reports.

According to her obituary, Fealey was “committed to her vision and efforts to empower youth and those battling addiction.” Founder of the non-profit organization 4TheYoungerMe (4TYM), she also was involved with non-profit organizations Not An Easy Fix and Empower Somerset.

“She firmly believed that ‘substance abuse does not define the person’ and that ‘a toxic environment does not define the child’s future,’” her obituary states.

Not An Easy Fix called Fealey’s death “horrific news” in a Feb. 1 statement posted to Facebook.

“She was always extremely supportive and had a big smile whenever she entered a room,” committee member Ian Bockus said in the post. “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.”

A 2018 graduate of Rutgers Business School, Fealey also worked as a logistics management specialist and was a former federal employee for the Naval Surface Warfare Center, according to her obituary.

Her family has asked for donations to go to Not An Easy Fix.

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