Prosecutors revealed during Tuesday’s detention hearing that Taylor, one of the suspects in the case and Stern’s former prom date — reportedly hid the young woman’s body “in the bushes behind her home,” the place he is believed to have re-visited twice before he tossed her corpse off the Belmar bridge with the help of roommate Liam McAtasney.
Taylor’s roommate, Liam McAtasney allegedly, strangled Stern inside her home on Dec. 2 and then alerted Taylor to come to the house to help move her body, according to the state’s case.
Sarah Stern was Preston Taylor’s prom date in 2014
“He [Taylor] went to the victim’s home. He found her body. He walked through the house for his co-defendants cellphone. He then took her body, removed it from the residence and left it under a bush,” Doyle said.
Both suspects then allegedly went back to the home a few hours later, moved Stern’s body from the backyard into her car and then dumped her over the Route 35 Bridge in Belmar.
County Prosecutor Meghan Doyle told the court court that if Taylor were to be released on bail, he would pose a threat to the prosecutor’s key witness, identified only as A.C.
After gathering the details, Superior Court Judge David Bauman made the decision to keep Taylor behind bars for fear that his release could create further conflict in the case.
“I will grant the state’s request and order that this defendant be detained,” Bauman announced during the hearing.
Taylor, 19, is being charged with felony murder, conspiracy, hindering apprehension and disposal of human remains after he was found guilty through phone evidence of planning and executing Stern’s strategic murder.
McAtasney, also 19, is facing felony murder charges, conspiracy, hindering apprehension and disposal of human remains after Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said he also reportedly robbed Stern’s home Dec. 2, ridding her of thousands.
Prime suspect: Sarah Stern’s prom date Preston Taylor ischarged with felony murder, conspiracy, hindering apprehension and disposal of human remains in her strangling death
Co-defendant: Liam McAtasney is harged with felony murder, conspiracy, hindering apprehension and disposal of human remains
Investigators found two safes buried at Sandy Hook and Shark River Park with $1,000 and Stern’s clothing inside, according to NJ Adance Media.
Taylor and McAtasney joined crowds of nearly 100 people in search of Stern on Dec. 10. Her body has yet to be found.