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Michael Janicki Update

A body found on Trenton Psychiatric Hospital grounds has been confirmed as Michael Janicki’s, a patient who had escaped and been missing since Aug.30, State Police officials said.

Two employees found the body about noon Sept. 6 after noticing a smell coming from a patch of woods behind a maintenance building.

The identity was confirmed by matching the body’s fingerprints to those recorded on the ornamental samurai sword Janicki used to kill his father in July 2002. Janicki was found not guilty due to insanity and sentenced to an indefinite stay in a mental institution. He was transferred to Trenton Psychiatric Hospital last fall.

Janicki’s mother told The Star Ledger that according to the Mercer County Medical Examiner’s Office, her son died at 8 p.m. the same day he left the hospital.

Janicki walked out of Trenton Psychiatric Hospital with an outdated card that allowed him free access to the grounds. Two weeks prior to the incident, he told a doctor that he had thought of hurting himself. Consequently, his privileges to wander the campus alone were removed, but his keycard was never changed.

This, along with a blood-stained plastic knife that was found near his body, has lead officials to examine if Janicki committed suicide by stabbing himself. However, the body was too decomposed by the time it was discovered to examine the wounds. The knife has been sent to State Police crime labs for analysis.

State Human Services is currently examining the techniques used during the search for Janicki to discover why the body was not found earlier. According to Gary Brown, a State Human Services spokesman, the dogs used in the search had Janicki’s scent within feet of the body and then lost it.

“I just wanted to hold my son and kiss him goodbye, and now I can’t do that because his body is so decomposed,” Cheryl Janicki said to the Star-Ledger. “That’s all I had left was to give him a hug and say goodbye, and they took that away from me.”


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