††††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300


††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† *News Release* ††† ††††††Date: April 15, 2010








Perth Amboy man charged with sexual assault, murder



††††††††† Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Old Bridge Police Chief Thomas H. Collow announced today that a Perth Amboy man has been charged with breaking into the home of a township woman, sexually assaulting her, killing her and setting a fire in her bedroom last week.


Robert L. Hayes Jr. (DOB 10/4/77) of Perth Amboy was charged with burglary, aggravated sexual assault, murder and aggravated arson in the death April 8, 2010, of Petra Rohrbaugh, 52, of 18 Hilltop Boulevard in the Cliffwood Beach section of Old Bridge.


Following an intensive investigation by the Old Bridge Police Department, the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office and the New Jersey State Police, the charges were filed against Hayes on April 14, 2010, at about 8 p.m.


Hayes is scheduled to appear today at 1:30 p.m. before Superior Court Judge Michael Toto at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick.


After the charges were filed, Superior Court Judge Barbara Stolte set bail at $3 million, bringing the total bail for Hayes to $3.2 million. He must post the full amount, and not 10 percent, before he can be released from custody.


His bail initially was set at $200,000 after he was arrested and charged on the evening of April 8, 2010, with obstruction and hindering police during the investigation into the death of Ms. Rohrbaugh. It was charged that he gave police false information during the investigation


Police began the investigation after receiving a 911 call shortly before 8 a.m. on April 8, 2010.


Ms. Rohrbaugh was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy determined her death was the result of a homicide, but the cause of death has yet to be determined, pending the results of further medical testing.


The Middlesex County Medical Examinerís Office positively identified the woman on April 14, 2010, through dental records.


Hours after the homicide, police traced Hayes to the home of an unidentified friend in Aberdeen, and brought him to the Old Bridge Police Department, where he was charged with obstruction and hindering.


Prosecutor Kaplan praised police for their work on the case and thanked Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow and the Union County Prosecutorís Office for their assistance.


Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Michael Machen at the Old Bridge Police Department at (732) 721-5600, or Investigator Paul Miller at the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office at (732) 745-4466.


As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Hayes are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.