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Forty Year-Old Gloucester County Cold Case Murder Investigation Continues

WOODBURY NJ--Forty years have passed since 17-year-old Deptford High School student Patrick O’Neill  walked into his family’s Almonesson Road farmhouse and his young life ended in what was probably his interruption of a daytime burglary.

The fatal shooting of the Deptford NJ boy is one of Gloucester County’s oldest unsolved murders. Nonetheless, Patrick’s three brothers still believe whoever shot him  on 10/30/75 will be found.

“We continue to have faith that those responsible will be identified and held accountable in some way,”  wrote his older brother Michael, in an e-mail from his Louisiana home.

“We struggle every day with the thought that there are people who have direct knowledge of the events of that day, yet still fail to step forward,”  said Michael O’Neill, who uses a Facebook page to post news pictures of the shooting scene in hopes it will “prod people’s memories and perhaps a conscience or two.”

Michael O’Neill has also contributed part of the $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for his brother’s death.

The O’Neill murder investigation is continuing under Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office Det. William Perna and Deptford Police Department Det. Cpl. John Seneck, after passing through the hands of several Deptford, county and State Police officers over  the last four decades. The detectives reorganized the massive homicide file and have re-interviewed many of the people who police initially spoke with, even traveling as far as North Carolina and the Canadian border in New York State to gather information on possible suspects.

The case remains active, and numerous individuals have been identified for interviews, said Det. Perna.  .Anyone with information about the homicide is encouraged to contact Det. Perna at 856-385-5645 or Det. Seneck at 856-845-6300 (ext. 1362).  No tip should be considered insignificant, Det. Perna stressed.  The Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office also maintains a texting tipline on which information can be provided anonymously.  Text GLOTIP & your message to CRIMES   (274637).