Prosecutor: Maple Shade Duo Sold Meth That Killed South Jersey Man, 38

A pair of Maple Shade residents have been arrested in connection with the methamphetamine death of a Burlington County man about a year ago.

Joshua Lanigan, left, and Jeanine Hughes
Joshua Lanigan, left, and Jeanine Hughes Photo Credit: Burlington County Prosecutor's Office

Joshua Lanigan, 39, and Jeanine Hughes, 44, both were charged with first-degree strict liability for drug-induced death, drug dealing and drug possession felonies, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Medford Township Police Chief Richard J. Meder.

The drug-dealing duo allegedly sold a fatal dose of meth to Andrew Shelley, 38, at his Medford Township home in mid February 2020.

Shelley disappeared and was reported missing by his family last Feb. 18.

New Jersey State Police announced Shelley as a missing persons -- saying he’d last been spotted leaving a motel on Feb. 16 and riding a bicycle south on Route 206 in Southampton.

On March 18, a hiker found Shelley's body in a wooded area just off Route 70 in Medford, state police said. 

An investigation into his death widened after an autopsy by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined that Shelley died of methamphetamine toxicity.

Detectives linked the meth that killed Shelley to Lanigan and Hughes, Coffina said.

Shelley was survived by his parents, five siblings and several nieces and nephews. Friends and family described him as a generous, kind-hearted, fun-loving man who was always up for an adventure and always willing to lend a helping hand. 

Lanigan and Hughes were arrested on Friday in Maple Shade and jailed in separate justice facilities ahead of detention hearings, scheduled for Wednesday in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

Medford Township Police Detective William Knecht led the investigation.

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