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Arrest in cold case at Shore

Detectives reopened a search. A suspect in a 1982 death in Cape May County now faces a manslaughter charge.

Cape May County detectives assigned to look into a 25-year-old homicide case arrested a suspect this week in suburban Cleveland.

George Carty, 49, waived extradition yesterday and was being returned to Cape May County to face a charge of aggravated manslaughter, Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor said.

Carty is accused of killing John Attenborough, 57, of Lower Township, who had been beaten around the head and chest and died of blunt-force trauma. The victim's body was discovered near his car, parked on a dirt road at a construction site. No weapon was found.

Carty's name had been linked to the case in the past, but Taylor would not say how Carty had known the victim or what had brought about the arrest.

Taylor said his office had started a program several years ago to assign cold cases to new detectives, to bring fresh eyes to the evidence. This year, that effort brought an arrest in a 1990 homicide.

Detective Ed Musick of the Prosecutor's Office and former Lower Township Detective Frank Majane investigated the Attenborough homicide, Taylor said.

"Everybody really feels good about this," he said.

Investigators interviewed Carty while he was living in West Virginia this year. Sometime after that, he moved to Richmond Heights, Ohio, where he was arrested Tuesday.

Attenborough had worked as a chef for five years at the Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield. On the night of his death, he left work and was seen about 1 a.m. at a nightclub in North Wildwood.

Construction workers found his body that morning, July 27, 1982, face up on a dirt road near what is now the Tranquility subdivision. There were no witnesses.

Taylor did not know when Carty had left the area, or how he had spent the intervening years. Carty would have been 24 at the time of the homicide.

For now, he will be held in jail, with $500,000 bail.