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Sugar Cookie

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A Middlesex County woman has been charged in the heinous killing and sexual assault of a 70-year-old woman found dead in an apartment on Wednesday.

Caroline Beckert, 40, faces charges of murder, aggravated sexual assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement Thursday.

Jo Ann Cullinan, of Old Bridge, was found dead in a residence after police received a call from Beckert saying she had killed someone, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

The affidavit alleges that Beckert and Cullinan were “acquaintances” and that the woman used a knife and a hard object, a drawer, to kill the woman. It also alleges Beckert sexually assaulted Cullinan with an umbrella. She also stole $15, according to the affidavit from county Detective Erik Larsen.

Police recovered the knife, as well as a bloody umbrella and clothing, according to the affidavit.

Investigators swarmed the apartment complex around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday though it’s not clear when Cullinan was killed.

According to the police report first obtained by NJ.com, Beckert allegedly used the knife and the heavy wooden drawer to stab and bludgeon Cullinan. During the course of the murder, Beckert allegedly sexually assaulted the older woman with an umbrella, police allege.
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First-degree murder, aggravated sexual assault and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

In March 2019, Beckert posted saying that she had tried, unsuccessfully to volunteer for the Old Bridge Police Department. That same month, Beckert said that she had been unsuccessful in her attempts to join the U.S. Air Force because she “was too old to join.” As of 2014, the cut off age for the Air Force is 39.

On Instagram, Beckert also wrote about suicide attempts in 2018 and 2015 and about spending time in mental hospitals.

Beckert also posted on Instagram about conspiracy theories and the government controlling people using mind-control drugs.


Family members of Jo-Ann Cullinan say they are in shock after she was found dead — allegedly killed and sexually assaulted by a woman the family says was welcomed into her home for dinner several times a week.

"Aunt Jo-Ann spent her life advocating for those with physical and mental disabilities, and she was passionate about showing kindness and compassion for those who were shunned by society," the statement says in part. "She was a very happy person who loved her family, and was deeply loved in return."

 

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