Plainfield man arrested in Texas, charged with murder

Oscar Rodriguez

A Plainfield resident has been arrested in Texas after being criminally charged with killing a man and burning his body beyond recognition late last year, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Plainfield Police Director Lisa Burgess jointly announced Tuesday.

Oscar E. Rodriguez, 24, is charged with first-degree murder and second-degree desecration of human remains in connection with the death of David Chacon, 42, also of Plainfield. 

Shortly after 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 24, 2020, members of the Plainfield Police Department responded to a call regarding the discovery of charred human remains in an outdoors area near the 800 block of West Front Street in Plainfield, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Peter Benza, who is prosecuting the case.

An investigation led by the Union County Homicide Task Force and assisted by the Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit and Plainfield Police Department resulted in the identification of the victim using DNA evidence, and also resulted in Rodriguez being developed as a suspect. Rodriguez was criminally charged in February and recently arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents near a U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Texas, after which he was extradited back to New Jersey last week. During a hearing held yesterday in Union County Superior Court, Rodriguez was ordered to remain in custody pending the adjudication of the case.

“We are grateful for the collaboration from the many local and federal agencies who assisted our Office in locating and apprehending the suspect,” acting Prosecutor Ruotolo said. “And we hope that this arrest can bring some small measure of comfort to all those grieving Mr. Chacon.”

Anyone with information about this matter is still urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Sgt. Christopher Scuorzo at 908-472-0492 or Detective Ryan Kirsh at 908-347-1420.

Convictions on crimes of this nature are commonly punishable by terms of up to life in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.