TO: ALL NEWS MEDIA
FROM: PROSECUTOR MARK MUSELLA
DATE: NOVEMBER 2, 2019
Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of MICHAEL GAFFNEY (DOB: 3/26/1998; single; unemployed) of 888 Briarcliff Avenue, Maywood, NJ on a charge of Reckless Manslaughter. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Hackensack Police Department under the direction of Officer-in-Charge Captain Peter Busciglio.
On Saturday, November 2, 2019, at 2:14 a.m., the Hackensack Police Department received a 911 call regarding an unresponsive female in a vehicle located at 140 Prospect Street, Hackensack. Responding officers and EMS treated Francis Victoria Garcia, age 19, who was unresponsive. She was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. Hackensack Police contacted the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and a subsequent investigation revealed that Garcia was in the rear seat of her vehicle with MICHAEL GAFFNEY at the time of her death. An autopsy determined that the death was caused by compression injuries to her neck.
As a result of the investigation, MICHAEL GAFFNEY was arrested and charged with one count of Reckless Manslaughter, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4b(1), a 2nd degree crime. He was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending an appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.
Prosecutor Musella states that the charge is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He would also like to thank the Hackensack Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with this investigation.