Elizabeth man indicted for murder of stranger

A Union County grand jury has returned a three-count indictment against the man accused of murdering a stranger with a blunt object last summer, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel announced Friday.

Oliver I. Tzarax-Lopez, 21, is charged with first-degree murder and two related second-degree weapons offenses in connection with the death of 37-year-old Newark resident Nohora C. Agudelo.

At approximately 2:35 a.m. on Sunday, June 28, 2020, members of the Elizabeth Police Department responded to a report of suspicious activity in the area of East Broad Street and North Broad Street in the city’s downtown and found an adult female who had sustained severe head injuries, according to Union County Homicide Task Force Supervisor and Assistant Prosecutor Scott M. Peterson, who is prosecuting the case. The woman, later identified as Agudelo, was pronounced dead at the scene, and a subsequent autopsy revealed that her manner of death was homicide, with blunt-force trauma the cause.

An investigation led by the Homicide Task Force and assisted by the Elizabeth Police Department and the Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit resulted in Tzarax-Lopez being identified as a suspect in the case, and he was criminally charged on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, at which time his whereabouts remained unknown. He remained at large for more than three weeks, and on August 27, members of the Prosecutor’s Office, assisted by representatives of the New York City Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service, arrested him at a diner in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan.

Anyone with further information about Ms. Agudelo’s death is still urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Sgt. Christopher Scuorzo at 908-472-0492 or Sgt. Lamar Hartsfield at 908-451-1873.

Convictions on charges of this nature are commonly punishable by sentences 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.