Jerry Rosado

Jerry Rosado, 62, was arrested on April 8, 2022, for the May 27, 1990, rape and murder of 20-year-old Susan Negersmith in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Negersmith’s almost-nude body was disposed of in a dumpster behind a local restaurant. Negersmith had travelled to Wildwood from her home in Carmel, New York, to spend the Memorial Day holiday there with friends.

For the first three years of the investigation, Negersmith’s death was ruled an accident. This was only changed when her initial autopsy report was examined by forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, who determined that she suffered significant physical trauma that led to her death. Negersmith’s family stated that they had to advocate for three years to have the cause of death changed. They state that the city wanted to protect tourism revenues in this popular Jersey Shore destination.

A DNA profile was obtained from semen found in Negersmith’s body, as well as under her fingernails. The FGG investigation was conducted by Parabon Nanolabs. There is no information as yet on how the final confirmation was made.

In April of 2022, Rosado was charged with second-degree sexual assault, which carries a potential penalty of 5-10 years. He was not charged with a homicide-related offence, but authorities stated at the time that further charges were possible. Investigators reinterviewed a male witness who was with Negersmith shortly before she died. He was trying to assist her back to her motel, as she was extremely intoxicated. He left her near where her body was found the next day. Her blood alcohol at her autopsy was 0.285. The witness stated that she was clearly too intoxicated to consent to sexual activity.

In April of 2023, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled that the statute of limitations for the sexual assault charge had passed. The charge against Rosado were dismissed with prejudice, which means that it cannot be prosecuted in the future. He was released from custody with no further charges.

The prosecution had argued that the statute of limitations on sexual assault in New Jersey was changed on January 3, 2002 to begin the 5-year limitation period until the state possess both the physical evidence of the crime as well as a sample of DNA from the suspect. This did not take place until May 26, 2021 – the day on which investigators obtained a buccal DNA swab from Rosado.

The Appellate Division found that the 2002 amendments were not retroactive. Therefore, the statute of limitations for the rape of Negersmith expired on May 27, 1995, and no further charges can be brought after that date.

Authorities have stated that multiple men had their DNA taken and compared with the crime-scene profile over the years, but that all were eliminated as suspects.


Barlow, Bill. “DNA Used to Break a 30-Year Stalemate in Wildwood Cold Case.” Press of Atlantic City, April 18, 2022. Accessed April 23, 2022.

Charlesworth, Michelle. “Search for Answers in 25-Year-Old Cold Case of Rape and Murder in Wildwood.” ABC 6 News, June 10, 2015. Accessed April 12, 2022.

Cohen, Linda. “Alleged Negersmith Rapist Released After Appellate Ruling.” Breaking AC, March 30, 2023. Accessed April 9, 2023.

Longo, Brian, and 6abc Digital Staff. “Arrest Made in Connection with 32-Year-Old Rape, Homicide Case in Wildwood.” ABC News 7, April 8, 2022. Accessed April 12, 2022.

New Jersey v. Rosado. Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division. DOCKET NO. A-0516-22 (March 29, 2023).

Sederstrom, Jill. “Man Arrested for 1990 Sexual Assault of 20-Year-Old Tourist Found Dead Near Dumpster.” Oxygen, April 11, 2022. Accessed April 12, 2022.

Walsh, Jim. “After DNA Link, Detectives Needed More for Arrest in Wildwood Cold Case.” Courier Post, April 12, 2022. Accessed April 15, 2022.


First Name Jerry
Last Name Rosado
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2022-04-08
IGG Org Parabon


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1679 Susan Negersmith 20 1990-05-27 Wildwood, NJ Cape May CO Major Crimes CCU Second degree murder No charge against accused; or charges have not yet been laid Cape May CO CT CRIM DIV

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.