Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Mount Laurel Township Police Chief Stephen Riedener announced that the 31-year man charged yesterday with stealing the vehicle and debit card of a Mount Laurel woman found fatally bludgeoned in her home Wednesday has been charged with her death.
Andrew Kramer, of Mantua, was charged last night with Murder (First Degree) and two counts of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Third Degree and Fourth Degree). He is presently in custody in Philadelphia on weapons offenses and charges of simple assault and making terroristic threats. The Prosecutor’s Office will seek to extradite him to New Jersey, where he will face a detention hearing in Superior Court.
Kramer had recently been residing with the victim, Melissa Malcolm, 38, in her home in the 600 block of Mount Laurel Road, but moved out at her request. She was found deceased in her bed on the afternoon of January 26 after officers from the Mount Laurel Police Department made entry into the residence to conduct a wellness check when she failed to show up for work.
An autopsy performed by Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood determined that Malcom died from injuries sustained to her head.
The investigation revealed that Kramer fled in Malcom’s 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee after killing her. He faces additional charges of motor vehicle theft and using Malcolm’s debit card in the early morning hours of January 26 to withdraw cash from machines at convenience stores in Marlton and Brooklawn, where he was captured on a surveillance recording operating her vehicle and making a transaction.
He was taken into custody later that day, after officers from the Philadelphia Police Department were dispatched to a business in the 1500 block of Brandywine Street for a report of a man with a gun at approximately 5:45 p.m.
Upon arrival, officers were told by the caller that he was able to lock the man in a garage after being threatened at gunpoint for refusing to provide a ride when he was first approached. Philadelphia police officers entered the business and found Kramer holding the gun under his chin.
After approximately 30 minutes of talking with Kramer, the officers were able to convince him to put down his loaded .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun.
“I’d like to commend the individual whom the defendant confronted in Philadelphia, for his level-headed and resourceful response to this frightening encounter,” Prosecutor Coffina said. “I’d like to equally acknowledge the excellent work by the Philadelphia Police Department in their response to the scene and their successful de-escalation of the situation that ensured the defendant did not harm any of the responding officers or himself.”
The investigation was conducted by the BCPO, the Mount Laurel Police Department and the Philadelphia Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Detectives Daniel Schules and Melyssa Alonso, and MLPD Detective Aaron Harty.
Kramer will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit – Violent Crimes Section.
All persons are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.