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Lower Township Police Charge Two in Drug Induced Death


VILLAS – On Sunday May 23, 2021, members of the Lower Township Police Patrol Division responded to the 100 block of East New York Avenue for a drug overdose.  Patrol Officers found the victim, a 49 year old female unconscious and unresponsive.  Officers administered Naloxone and attempted lifesaving procedures; however she was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.  Members of the Lower Township Police Detective Division and the Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office arrived on scene a short time later and initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death.
During the investigation, evidence was collected from the scene and the LTPD Detective Division executed a court authorized search warrant which ultimately led to the arrest of Matthew Britton, 29 Villas.  Britton was charged with 1st degree Strict Liability for drug induced death, NJSA 2C:35-9a and 2nd degree Reckless Manslaughter, NJSA 2C:11-4b and lodged in the Cape May County Correctional Center.
A second suspect was later identified as James E. Gartner 25 of North Cape May.  An arrest warrant has been issued for Gartner and the Lower Township Police are encouraging anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact the tip line at 609-886-1619 Ext. 156.  
*Any charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless he is proven guilty.