mcpo andreas erazo mugFREEHOLD – The upstairs neighbor of 11-year-old Abbiegail Smith has pleaded guilty to her July 2017 sexual assault and murder in Keansburg, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Andreas Erazo, 20, of Keansburg, pleaded guilty Tuesday 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.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the State will recommend a sentence of Life in 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 he would be eligible for release on parole.  Upon release, Erazo would also be subject to Parole Supervision for Life, and Megan’s Law. 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.

Erazo is scheduled to appear in Superior Court for sentencing for his crimes before Presiding Criminal Judge David F. Bauman on May 31, 2019.  He remains incarcerated in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, where he has been detained since his arrest. 

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