WILDWOOD, NJ (CBS) – A break in the case of a woman found raped and murdered down the Jersey Shore 32 years ago. The break brings the victim’s family closer to some form of closure.
For the first time, Jerry Rosado on Wednesday faced a judge in the long unresolved cold case of Susan Negersmith.
FIRST APPEARANCE – After 32 years, Jerry Rosado of Millville appeared before a judge on a charge he sexually assaulted Susan Negersmith in 1990. Rosado is not charged in the 20-year-old’s homicide. Tonight at 11, # CBS3Mysteries profiles the cold case. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/DYCSKwna0B
– Joe Holden (@ JoeHoldenCBS3) April 14, 2022
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Last week, Cape May County detectives announced a major break – the arrest of the 62-year-old man from Millville, charging him sexually assaulted Negersmith.
It was May 1990 when Negersmith’s partially clothed, battered body was found behind a restaurant dumpster in Wildwood.
On Wednesday, Rosado’s detention hearing was postponed until next week with his lawyer requesting case files.
“I understand that they’ve had this matter for 32 years,” Deputy Public Defender Eric Shenkus said. “I would ask the courtesy to be provided discovery.”
Negersmith, from Carmel, New York, was down the shore for Memorial Day Weekend in 1990.
Despite signs of trauma, her manner of death was initially listed as accidental, but Negersmith’s late father fought to encourage investigators to reevaluate the case.
Three years later, a medical examiner reversed his findings and labeled it a homicide.
“This was a daily topic of conversation for my dad,” Emily Negersmith said. “He was completely relentless in his pursuit of justice for Susan.”
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Emily Negersmith says she was 2 when her sister died. Sadly, she remembers very little of her sister, but over the years, she’s talked to Eyewitness News about her family’s determination.
“I will never stop for the rest of my life until we can find someone,” she said.
For the Negersmiths, there are still so many questions.
“The idea that there’s been some closure isn’t totally accurate yet,” Emily Negersmith said. “We still have a battle ahead of us. We want this guy put away for as long as possible. ”
While Rosado is now charged with sexual assault, it is important to note he is not being held in the homicide of Negersmith.
Sources say developments in DNA analysis have tied Rosado to the sexual assault of Negersmith. The investigation into her homicide is ongoing.
Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland declined to comment for this story.
Rosado’s public defender told Eyewitness News in a phone interview he’s been cooperative with investigators and contends even if his client’s DNA is a positive match, it does not mean he is automatically guilty of assault.
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Rosado returns to court next Friday, where his lawyer says he’ll request his release on bail. That’s something prosecutors are expected to fight.