NJ BRIELLE JANE DOE: WF, 20-40, hit by train in Monmouth County, NJ - 15 June 2008

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New Jersey Transit Police released the sketch of a woman who was fatally struck by a North Jersey Coast Line train on June 15, 2008 and are seeking help in identifying the woman. Train No. 4785 on the North Jersey Coast Line hit the unidentified woman at 1:38 a.m. in Brielle, between the Manasquan and Point Pleasant stations, according to a statement by NJ Transit.




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Update #1: Making Sense of the Investigation Reports (Part 1 of 2) (self.BrielleJane)
submitted 10/09/23 ago by MementoMori29

(Primary Sources: NJTPD initial investigation report, unredacted; Brielle Police Department report, minimally redacted; all quotes herein cited directly from report)
Sunday, June 15, 2008 at 1:38a ET.
Law enforcement is alerted to a victim, Brielle Jane Doe ("BJD"), having been struck by a commuter train.
The incident occurred near Mile Marker 35.5 in Brielle, New Jersey, near the Fisk Avenue crossing. Throughout the entire NJTPD incident report, Fisk Avenue is misspelled as Frisk Avenue (yeah, I know, it doesn't inspire confidence).
The Fisk Avenue train crossing near top left.
The New Jersey Transit coastal rail line hugs the NJ shoreline, ending in Bay Head, NJ. The town of Brielle, New Jersey does not have a designated train stop, but sits between the Manasquan and Point Pleasant stops.
Star is roughly Brielle.
It is important to note that it appears that BJD's body was found either on or extremely close to the Fisk Avenue crossing, which allows for pedestrian and car traffic. Her body was not found in an area where the tracks run through more remote terrain, away from roads or houses or obstructed via shrubbery/trees (to be discussed more later).
Several LE agencies reported to the scene in the rain: Monmouth County Medical Examiner's Office, Monmouth County Police, Brielle Police -- but jurisdiction lies (and still lies) with the New Jersey Transit Police ("NJTPD"), a State law enforcement agency tasked with LE and investigative authority over the State railways, bus depots and light rail stations.
Brielle Jane Doe's body is discovered "approximately 230 feet south of Fisk Avenue". She is face-down. Her body is noted to be "covered in lacerations." Her left foot is severed from her body. Her skull is "partially decapitated."
The initial assessment of the victim -- in the cloudy dark and in the rain -- is that she is in her "mid-20's," a white female with "dark brown hair."
As unbelievable as it is, there are discrepancies in the physical description of the scene between the Brielle Police Report ("Brielle Report") and the NJTPD Report:
  1. The NJTPD report assets that BJD was clad in a "white tee-shirt with a long sleeve red shirt underneath."
    1. The Brielle Report notes that the victim was "dressed in a white-T shirt with a pink sweatshirt underneath."
  2. The NJTPD Report makes no mention of her foot being severed and instead writes that BJD was in "white adidas sneakers with black stripes.
    1. The Brielle Report notes the severed foot and states that "the victims sneakers were off and located just south of the body."
  3. The NJTPD Report asserts that the victim was "carrying a brown tote bag..."
    1. The Brielle Report writes, "[a] bag was located, placed on top of a newspaper in between the train rails."
Here is the most important detail and discrepancy between the reports. Brielle Jane Doe was found without pants on.
This extremely important detail was not mentioned in the NJPTD Report. The Brielle Report states succinctly, "[t]he victim had no pants on and was clad only in her underwear." This assertion is later strengthened by both the autopsy report and witness statements, which will be discussed in later posts.

Notes
  • In parsing through both reports, it's my personal belief and assessment that the Brielle Report is more thorough, accurate and faithful to the reality of that night. I've worked as an attorney for law enforcement agencies in the past, and I've seen the entire spectrum of police reports, from thorough and air-tight to "Jesus Christ, this isn't going to help a prosecution." And yet, it's actually pretty shocking to see an initial investigation report with such glaring omissions. A victim being found partially nude from the waist down and without shoes on are critical details for a potential criminal investigation. To say the victim was carrying a bag, when it appears the bag was staged or placed down on the tracks can lead a reader to vastly separate theories about how the event occurred, how many people were present, etc. The night in question was already humid and wet, with intermittent rain slashing down. Law enforcement were already at a disadvantage with potentially significant physical evidence (shoe prints, tire treads, fingerprints, DNA, clothing fibers, etc) being compromised from weather. It's pretty ******* abysmal to see such odd carelessness to detail.
  • While BJD was found to have "dark brown hair" in the NJPTD report, I don't give it much credence. The scene was dark, the victim likely had wet hair from laying out in the rain and the coroner's photos show the victim with flaxen blonde hair and slightly darker eyebrows.
Blonde, no?
  • BJD appears to have been struck either on the railroad crossing that intersections Fisk Avenue or just slightly off it. Her body was found approx. 250 yards from the crossing and was likely dragged for a good chunk of that. Police marked off the crime scene at Fisk Avenue and Perry Street. The reason I'm hammering this point home is because I am hoping to build a theory that this was not an accident, but that BJD was dumped at this site, either incapacitated or dead, by a third party. When I first read through the publicly available information on this case, I had an impression in my mind of the well-worn trope of a person walking down train tracks in a desolate area and getting struck by a train (a la Stand by Me) (see below). It's wrong. BJD was likely struck right where the tracks cross the street pavement or just south of that. She was found just outside of a quiet residential neighborhood, close to a secluded wildlife refuge and just mere miles away from some of the busiest tourist/nightlife centers of the bustling Jersey Shore. It is very likely she originated at one of these nightlife hubs that Saturday night. This will also be discussed in a later post.
Bit of a trope, but not the reality of the incident.
  • As we progress, the most frustrating part of this case and many past cases we've worked on is how little law enforcement is willing to share. Coming from that world, I understand that. You don't want to float public information out that could compromise an investigation or tip-off a culprit as to your investigative strategy. You also don't want online forums talking about the case or shitheads like me criticizing your work. However, I've always been a firm believer that these concerns no longer matter on cases that are "cold." And this case, my friends, is ******* ice cold. I don't know why no mention of this case being a crime wasn't communicated by the authorities in 15 years. There's been a complete omission as to potential cause of death -- whether accident, suicide, murder. Maybe it's not weird, but as we go through what scant evidence we have, I believe you'll find it as frustrating as we do.
  • Just for anyone curious -- initial investigation reports (like these!) are accessible through the vast majority of state FOIL/FOIA requests. Supplementary reports and investigatory records are typically exempt from disclosure, and a lot of law enforcement hides behind these protections for years, even when disclosing redacted records would be perfectly acceptable and renew public interest in a long stagnant case. My point is -- if you ever have any case you are interested in and want to learn more, file a open records request with your state authority. It's your right as a citizen. You'd be surprised what you'd find.
Alright, be well all.
Next Post: Witness Statements.
 
Hello @IntoTheFold and welcome. Thanks for posting!
I won't have time to dig into your posts and info until later, but just wanted to welcome you!
Thank you! We promise to only post the truth in what we have discovered. Some had questioned the authenticity behind some of what was presented in the TMD case but once it was solved it became clear that we had been reporting only facts all along.
 
Hello Crimewatchers community. We wanted to take a moment to update the case with what we have been up to:

Update #2: What Did People See?​



Been a long time updating, my apologies for that. Very recently our small little crew started poking around here again. Figured now's as good as ever to provide a little more information gleaned from the original reports.

As a reminder, the most important thing pulled from the original investigation report and autopsy was that Brielle Jane Doe was found without pants on her body. Her sneakers were also not on her feet, but found "just south of the body."

The autopsy notes that Brielle Jane Doe ("BJD") was clothed in "light green underwear, size 7, with presence of grease and blood stains being more prominent in the back." The autopsy also notes the presence of "Black pants with zippers...showing an illegible label. The pants show[ed] the presence of sand. There are no tears or stains identified." These pants were "brought by the Police" to the autopsy. The Doe Network provided this photo of said pants:

r/BrielleJane - Pretty undamaged
Pretty undamaged

Along with the night being rainy, BJD was found roughly one (1) mile from the beach, so it feels that a common theory — that she was temporarily pantless after a quick dip in the ocean — is exceedingly unlikely.

The investigation report provides fascinating glimpses of what the NJ Transit crew saw as they approached BJD. I have not included the names of these individuals, as it's unnecessary for our purposes. I will say that several months ago, I made a very lukewarm and unsuccessful attempt to contact these individuals in my private capacity. This is something I may revisit in the future with more dedication.

Piecing the short admissions from the NJ Transit employees paints a very uncomfortable picture.

The NJ Transit train conductor ("Conductor"), stated that he "did not see anything prior to the strike." Instead, "he noticed that the emergency brakes had been activated as the train crossed Fisk Avenue." According to the Conductor, he "heard another crew member state that they may have hit someone."

The brakeman, ("Brakeman") was in the rear of the train during the incident. He remembered the train engineer saying, "I think we hit someone about one car length back." He asserted that after the train stopped, he "stepped off the back of the train, flashed his light under the train and saw the body of a female lying on the track."

Next is the train engineer, ("Engineer"). The train engineer is tasked with sitting in the lead car with his eyes on the rails. While the conductor has the ability to freely float around the train, the engineer remains at his post. He would be the person best positioned to see Brielle Jane Doe walking along the track. He informed police that as he "approached [the] Fisk Avenue crossing he saw something that appeared to be white debris across the track approximately 50-100 feet ahead." He immediately activated the emergency brakes but was unable to stop in time.

This admission is so bizarre and seemingly candid. It also vividly paints a very specific picture: That BJD was laying flat across the tracks, in the rain, naked from the waist down outside of underwear, her white tee-shirt appearing like white debris or garbage.

A human being walking on or parallel with the track would be unmistakable. If BJD had leapt in front of the train, Engineer certainly would have said so and there wouldn't have been enough time to "dump" the emergency brake. The Brakeman corroborates Engineer's contemporaneous uncertainty by remembering the Engineer state that he thought they may have hit someone.

In the rainy dark, a limp body strewn across the track may very well look like debris. But there is no world where an upright human would be described in this manner.

So here with have Brielle Jane Doe in the rain, more than a mile from the beach and nightlife, no identification, no money, no pants on, no shoes on, laying across train tracks. I keep returning to the thought that any injury she may have suffered leading up to this incident -- any trauma to the head or neck -- would have been impossible to separate from injuries incurred during the collision.

I wonder if someone had given her a ride and assaulted her. Or if she had been robbed or injured and wandered off. An autopsy would later determine that she had no alcohol or narcotics in her system.

Maybe more than any other case my buddies and I have worked on, I feel there is so much more to this story than the little out in the public realm. The Monmouth County Prosecutors Office fought me tooth and nail over getting documents related to this investigation. I was, as I am in many immediate cases, unsuccessful. Even with this sparse information the possibility of this being a tragic accident is slimmer the more you make sense of these reports.

What do you think?
 
Hello Crimewatchers community. We wanted to take a moment to update the case with what we have been up to:

Update #2: What Did People See?​



Been a long time updating, my apologies for that. Very recently our small little crew started poking around here again. Figured now's as good as ever to provide a little more information gleaned from the original reports.

As a reminder, the most important thing pulled from the original investigation report and autopsy was that Brielle Jane Doe was found without pants on her body. Her sneakers were also not on her feet, but found "just south of the body."

The autopsy notes that Brielle Jane Doe ("BJD") was clothed in "light green underwear, size 7, with presence of grease and blood stains being more prominent in the back." The autopsy also notes the presence of "Black pants with zippers...showing an illegible label. The pants show[ed] the presence of sand. There are no tears or stains identified." These pants were "brought by the Police" to the autopsy. The Doe Network provided this photo of said pants:

r/BrielleJane - Pretty undamaged
Pretty undamaged

Along with the night being rainy, BJD was found roughly one (1) mile from the beach, so it feels that a common theory — that she was temporarily pantless after a quick dip in the ocean — is exceedingly unlikely.

The investigation report provides fascinating glimpses of what the NJ Transit crew saw as they approached BJD. I have not included the names of these individuals, as it's unnecessary for our purposes. I will say that several months ago, I made a very lukewarm and unsuccessful attempt to contact these individuals in my private capacity. This is something I may revisit in the future with more dedication.

Piecing the short admissions from the NJ Transit employees paints a very uncomfortable picture.

The NJ Transit train conductor ("Conductor"), stated that he "did not see anything prior to the strike." Instead, "he noticed that the emergency brakes had been activated as the train crossed Fisk Avenue." According to the Conductor, he "heard another crew member state that they may have hit someone."

The brakeman, ("Brakeman") was in the rear of the train during the incident. He remembered the train engineer saying, "I think we hit someone about one car length back." He asserted that after the train stopped, he "stepped off the back of the train, flashed his light under the train and saw the body of a female lying on the track."

Next is the train engineer, ("Engineer"). The train engineer is tasked with sitting in the lead car with his eyes on the rails. While the conductor has the ability to freely float around the train, the engineer remains at his post. He would be the person best positioned to see Brielle Jane Doe walking along the track. He informed police that as he "approached [the] Fisk Avenue crossing he saw something that appeared to be white debris across the track approximately 50-100 feet ahead." He immediately activated the emergency brakes but was unable to stop in time.

This admission is so bizarre and seemingly candid. It also vividly paints a very specific picture: That BJD was laying flat across the tracks, in the rain, naked from the waist down outside of underwear, her white tee-shirt appearing like white debris or garbage.

A human being walking on or parallel with the track would be unmistakable. If BJD had leapt in front of the train, Engineer certainly would have said so and there wouldn't have been enough time to "dump" the emergency brake. The Brakeman corroborates Engineer's contemporaneous uncertainty by remembering the Engineer state that he thought they may have hit someone.

In the rainy dark, a limp body strewn across the track may very well look like debris. But there is no world where an upright human would be described in this manner.

So here with have Brielle Jane Doe in the rain, more than a mile from the beach and nightlife, no identification, no money, no pants on, no shoes on, laying across train tracks. I keep returning to the thought that any injury she may have suffered leading up to this incident -- any trauma to the head or neck -- would have been impossible to separate from injuries incurred during the collision.

I wonder if someone had given her a ride and assaulted her. Or if she had been robbed or injured and wandered off. An autopsy would later determine that she had no alcohol or narcotics in her system.

Maybe more than any other case my buddies and I have worked on, I feel there is so much more to this story than the little out in the public realm. The Monmouth County Prosecutors Office fought me tooth and nail over getting documents related to this investigation. I was, as I am in many immediate cases, unsuccessful. Even with this sparse information the possibility of this being a tragic accident is slimmer the more you make sense of these reports.

What do you think?
I agree with you. I think it seems like she was laid out there by someone who wanted her body unrecognizable and no evidence left of a crime.

I once took a train ride to Seattle and the conductor told me that the worst part of the job was people who purposely stand on the track to take their own life. He said by the time you see them, they can't put the brakes on fast enough to keep from hitting them. He never said they can't see them standing there at all.
 

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