A West Deptford man has been indicted in the 2002 killing of Jennifer Whipkey, who disappeared after leaving the Adelphia nightclub in Deptford, prosecutors announced yesterday.

An indictment Wednesday charges Brian M. Mertz, 31, with first-degree felony murder, first-degree aggravated sexual assault, and related offenses, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office said.

Mertz was arrested in December after DNA evidence linked him to the slaying, officials said.

The 22-year-old Whipkey, mother of a 4-year-old girl, disappeared May 24, 2002. Her body, with numerous stab wounds to the throat, head, chest, stomach and legs, was found four days later in woods near the Westwood Motor Lodge on Crown Point Road in West Deptford, where Mertz lived.   

 - Joseph A. Gambardello