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Boyfriend Arrested For Murder, Dismemberment Of Woman

August 29, 1985

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) _ The estranged boyfriend of a woman whose dismembered body was found in a garbage dump and park was charged with her murder after police identified the remains from a metal plate in one arm, officials said.

William Ray Reilly, 48, was ordered held without bail Wednesday, hours after police charged him with the murder of 39-year-old Christine Farbisz, his live-in girlfriend.

Authorities alleged that Reilly, an unemployed Social Security recipient, dismembered the woman’s body and scattered the parts around Union County.

Investigators identified the remains as Ms. Farbisz by tracing a metal plate found in one of the arms, said Edmund J. Tucker, first assistant Union County prosecutor. The plate had code on it, which led investigators to the manufacturer, he said. The manufacturer, in turn, was able to steer authorities to a local hospital, which gave investigators a list of patients who had had such a plate implanted.

Ms. Farbisz had had the surgery, for a fracture, about a year ago, he said.

Police went to the apartment where Ms. Farbisz had been living with Reilly, and learned from neighbors that she had been seen last on Aug. 11. In a search of the apartment, they found a boning knife and a small saw, Tucker said.

Police also discovered ″a large quantity of blood in the hallway″ and blood and tissue on the toilet seat, according to the complaint, and arrested Reilly.

Superior Court Judge Alfred M. Wolin ordered that Reilly be held without bail after the prosecutor said a new road atlas had been found in the apartment and Reilly’s clothes had been removed from his closet.

Defense attorney Joan Van Pelt told the judge, ″I have guestions at this time as to the competency of my client to understand the complaint.″ No plea was entered.

Tucker said Ms. Farbisz and Reilly were estranged but could supply no details about their relationship.

Asking the judge to deny bail, Tucker said Reilly had no family in the area, was unemployed and was receiving welfare. He also said the defendant had recently received a $16,000 lump sum disability payment from the federal government.

The woman’s torso was found Aug. 21 near the Kean College campus in Union when a city public works employee reported an unusually heavy garbage bag.

A leg, also wrapped in a garbage bag, was found Saturday by a Union County police officer who stoppped his patrol car in the Watchung Reservation after noticing a foul smell.

Two dozen officers and bloodhounds then searched the 2,000-acre county park and discovered a similar bag containing a head about a mile from the first bag. Another bag containing two arms was found by one of the dogs about a half-mile away, and investigators found the 21/2 -inch stainless steel plate in the right arm.


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