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mcpo andreas erazo mugPHOTO: Andreas Erazo

FREEHOLD – The upstairs neighbor of 11-year-old Abbiegail Smith has received a life sentence in connection with Smith’s July 2017 sexual assault and murder in Keansburg, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

On May 31, 2019, Andreas Erazo, 20, of Keansburg, was sentenced by the Honorable Judge David F. Bauman to life in a New Jersey State Prison, subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. That statute deems a sentence of Life in Prison to be 75 years, which means Erazo would be required to serve 63 years, nine months and three days before becoming eligible for release on parole. Erazo was also sentenced to 50 years in prison for Aggravated Sexual Assault, which will run concurrently to the life sentence. Upon release, Erazo would subject to the provisions of Parole Supervision for Life, and Megan’s Law.

Erazo pleaded guilty on February 26, 2019,  to first degree Murder and first degree Aggravated Sexual Assault in connection with the death of Abbiegail “Abbie” Smith, who was found deceased on July 13, 2017, just hours after she was reported missing from her Hancock Street apartment. The plea agreement was made after consultation with the victim’s family.

Erazo was charged after Keansburg police responded to 16 Hancock St. at about 9:24 p.m., on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, after receiving a report the resident's 11-year-old daughter was missing. Keansburg police immediately launched a missing person's investigation. Keansburg Police notified the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office of the situation in the overnight hours of July 13, when a joint investigation was launched into the disappearance of Abbiegail Smith.

At approximately 10:20 a.m., detectives from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office's Forensic and Technical Services Bureau were behind the apartment complex, which includes the victim's residence. While in the rear yard, detectives ultimately observed an object wrapped up in what appeared to be a blanket or comforter up on a rear roof. Upon closer inspection, they found what appeared to be the deceased body of the 11-year old victim. An autopsy would subsequently determine that the victim had been sexually assaulted and fatally stabbed.

As the investigation continued into the murder, police identified and ultimately charged Erazo, the young girl's upstairs neighbor, with murder and weapons charges.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Diane Aifer and Michael Luciano. Erazo is represented by Michael Wicke, Esq. of Freehold.