Officials in Monmouth County, N.J., have charged Daryl Petlock, 34, with murder, Glynn County Magistrate Court records show.
Petlock, who was being held on a charge of not paying for a cab ride from Jacksonville and with a fugitive from justice charge, appeared Tuesday before Chief Magistrate Timothy Barton and waived extradition to New Jersey.
Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering confirmed the New Jersey charges arose from the finding of a woman’s body in a burning house in Middletown.
Monmouth County officials said last week they were investigating the Sept. 4 death of a woman whose body was found inside a burned house as a homicide.
The woman was identified as Lynn Morretti, 40, of Middletown, N.J.
“What are the chances? A man flies from New Jersey to Jacksonville, takes a cab to St. Simons, doesn’t pay the cab driver and talks about a homicide back in New Jersey,’’ Doering said.
Doering credited county police Sgt. Randall Lacey with catching enough details in Petlock’s disjointed speech Sunday to refer the matter to Glynn County investigators.
It started around noon at the rest room at Massengale Park on St. Simons Island where Petlock had gone after taking a cab from Jacksonville, Doering said.
Petlock was distraught and emotional to the point that a witness feared for his well being and called for an ambulance, Doering said.
As EMTs tried to interview Petlock, he became uncooperative and belligerent which brought Lacey to the scene.
"Sgt. Lacey listened to him. He picked up enough details and said, ‘There’s probably more to this,’’' Doering said.
When detectives interviewed Petlock, they called their counterparts in New Jersey, Doering said.
“Four investigators jumped on a plane and came south real fast,’’ he said.
New Jersey officials obtained the arrest warrant for Petlock after the New Jersey investigators interviewed him Monday, Doering said.
“It was good police work,’’ Doering said of Lacey. “I’m real proud of him.”