Press Release


For Immediate Release:
February 14, 2023

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of MARK WINTER (DOB: 1/6/1947; single; unemployed) of 25 Kennedy Terrace, Westwood, NJ for desecrating human remains and aggravated assault on law enforcement officers. The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Jason Love and the Westwood Police Department under the direction of Chief Michael Pontillo.

At approximately 1:00 p.m., on Monday, February 13, 2023, the Westwood Police Department responded to 25 Kennedy Terrace, Westwood, NJ to conduct a welfare check of the resident. Officers were met at the front door by MARK WINTER who allowed them to enter the home. While inside the residence, officers located the deceased remains of Joan Winters, 70, who resided there with her brother, MARK WINTER. After the discovery of her remains, MARK WINTER became confrontational with the officers and subsequently assaulted them.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit was notified and initiated an investigation with the Westwood Police Department, which revealed that MARK WINTER concealed his sister’s remains for a prolonged period of time in the residence. An autopsy was conducted on February 14, 2023, and although the cause and manner of death are pending toxicological testing results, according to a preliminary investigation, the death does not appear to be suspicious.

As a result of the investigation, MARK WINTER was charged with second-degree desecration of human remains, N.J.S.A. 2C:22-1a(1); and two counts of fourth-degree aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5)(a). WINTER was remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, NJ.

Prosecutor Musella states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and he would also like to thank the Westwood Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in this investigation.