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Slain artist pens foreboding post before old classmate with murder manifesto allegedly stabbed her 37 times

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A suspected killer’s manifesto “laying out a plan step by step” to slaughter a former classmate was among the items police seized from his home, according to documents obtained by Fox News Digital.

Police executed a search warrant on David Shroitman’s Somerville, New Jersey, apartment four days after he allegedly stabbed Maryrose Fealey 37 times the night of Jan. 30 outside her home, a probable cause affidavit for Shroitman’s arrest says.

“Yesterday is gone, todays the day, tomorrow is the mystery,” Fealey, 27, wrote on Facebook just eight days before her death.

Officers responded to a 911 call from one of the victim’s relatives who said Fealey’s front passenger car door was open “with their belongings spread throughout the front yard area,” and the relative found her with “multiple stab wounds,” the affidavit says.

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Maryrose Fealey, who was allegedly killed by one of her New Jersey high school classmates, was an artist. (Maryrose Fealey/Facebook)

The night Fealey was killed, surveillance footage captured a man in a gray sweatshirt, black face gaiter and thick, cushioned sneakers standing at an intersection near her home around the time police received the 911 call, according to the affidavit.

Shroitman was immediately identified as a potential suspect that night “by word of mouth,” according to the affidavit, which said he declined to talk to detectives on Feb. 2 in Bridgewater, New Jersey. 

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The detectives noted a white garbage bag on the driver’s seat of a tan Toyota, a black gaiter in the front passenger seat and duct tape on the back seat, the affidavit says. 

The same Toyota was spotted on security footage in the area around the time of the murder. 

David Shroitman mugshot

David Shroitman, 27, of Somerville, New Jersey, allegedly stabbed his high school classmate 37 times, police said. (Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office)

The investigation came to a head when Somerville police officers responded to an early Sunday evening call from a business owner about a suspicious person.

“Officers encounter(ed) Shroitman, who was wearing clear, latex gloves, cleaning his vehicle,” the affidavit says. “Officers could smell the odor of bleach coming from a puddle located by the driver side door of the Camry,” the affidavit says.

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Police allegedly found a thrown away latex glove smeared with blood nearby. 

Somerville police and investigators from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office executed search warrants later that day – Feb. 4 – at his apartment, where they allegedly found “numerous” bleach containers and a manifesto with a “step-by-step plan.”

His car was doused in bleach on the driver’s side, and blood was detected in his entryway and bathroom, according to the affidavit. 

One of Maryrose Fealey's final Facebook posts

Maryrose Fealey, who was known for her infectious, encouraging spirit, according to her obituary, wrote this post eight days before her death. (Maryrose Fealey/Facebook)

Maryrose Fealey

Maryrose Fealey, 27, who was allegedly killed by a former high school classmate, was a “champion of the underdog” and brought positive energy to every task, her obituary says. (Bridgewater Funeral Home)

Shroitman, 27, was arrested on Feb. 4 and formally charged the next day with first-degree murder, third-degree possession of a weapon, fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence and third-degree hindering apprehension.

Shroitman and Fealey graduated from Somerville High School together in 2014, but police and prosecutors did not reveal a potential motive. 

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“The investigation is ongoing, and further details are not available for release to maintain the integrity of the investigation,” Somerset County Prosecutor John McDonald said in a statement after the charges were filed. 

Shroitman is being held at the Somerset County Jail. It is unclear if he has retained a lawyer. 

Remembering Maryrose Fealey 

Fealey graduated from the local high school in 2014 and Rutgers Business School in 2018. She took a break from her job at the Naval Surface Warfare Center to “focus on her life’s mission work, as she called it,” her obituary says. 

“Maryrose was many things – a visual artist, anti-drug activist, entrepreneur, champion of the underdog, philanthropist, encourager, writer, and logistician,” according to her obituary.

But she will be remembered by her family and friends as “a ‘light’ in the room… Her signature bright smile was unforgettable. She was one to ‘show up’ and to be supportive, bringing positive energy, willingness, and kindness to any task at hand.”

Maryrose Fealey selfie

A picture of Maryrose Fealey, who was allegedly killed by her former high school classmate, smiling in a photo a couple of weeks into the new year captioned: “Cheers to 2024 being a beautiful year.” (Maryrose Fealey/Facebook)

Her Facebook was filled with uplifting posts and positive energy while championing visual artwork and charitable causes, including one that she founded called 4TheYoungerMe (4TYM).

A picture of her smiling a couple of weeks into the new year was captioned: “Cheers to 2024 being a beautiful year.”

“She was committed to her vision and efforts to empower youth and those battling addiction,” her obituary says. “She firmly believed that ‘substance abuse does not define the person’ and that ‘a toxic environment does not define the child’s future.’”

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Her last Facebook post was three days before she died. It was for an art exhibition. 

She wrote, “Destination Cosmos.” Underneath it says, “Have you ever dreamt of soaring through the cosmos, past twinkling stars and fiery nebulae?”

Maryrose Fealey's final Facebook post

Maryrose Fealey’s final Facebook post, dated Jan. 27, 2024, three days before she was killed. (Maryrose Fealey/Facebook)

“Maryrose will be profoundly missed as we are all heartbroken by her passing and loved her to the moon and back,” her obituary says, almost like a call back to two of her recent posts.

“It’s a time to hold our loved ones a little closer and tell the people we love that we love them, because tomorrow isn’t promised.”

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Law enforcement and the prosecutors’ office ask anyone with information to call the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100 or the Somerville Police Department at (908) 725-0331 or via the STOPit app. 

The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smartphone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. 

Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports, and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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