New Jersey felon on the lam weeks after allegedly stabbing, beating man to death at Boy Scouts campground

New Jersey felon on the lam weeks after allegedly stabbing, beating man to death at Boy Scouts campground

Several law enforcement agencies continued their search Tuesday for a convicted felon from New Jersey who remains on the lam four weeks after allegedly beating and stabbing another man to death at a Boy Scout campground close to the Pennsylvania border.

It wasn’t until Saturday that Shawn Massey, 38, of Gibbsboro, N.J., was formally charged with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the death of 54-year-old Joseph Bottino, whom police found fatally injured around 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 23, 2020, at the Pine Hill Scout Reservation in Camden County, N.J., just 20 miles from Philadelphia. 

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Bottino, a married father of two from Gloucester Township, regularly went hunting near the campsite, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said, adding that a medical examiner determined he died of “multiple stab and incise wounds as well as blunt force injuries.”

Massey – who was released from state prison in March 2020 after serving a three-year term for aggravated assault and other offenses – has been missing since Dec. 23.

“We understand many people are concerned that an arrest has not been made,” Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill Mayer said in a statement Monday. “Since the crime, there has been an increased law enforcement presence in that area and we have conducted multiple, coordinated searches in an effort to locate Massey.

“We have also received dozens of tips on possible sightings and whereabouts of Massey and are following up and taking each and every one very seriously. We have detectives working at all hours on this case and we will continue to do so until Massey is located.”

Shawn Massey, 38, of Gibbsboro, was charged with stabbing and beating another man to death at a campground last month. (Camden County Prosecutor's Office)

Shawn Massey, 38, of Gibbsboro, was charged with stabbing and beating another man to death at a campground last month. (Camden County Prosecutor’s Office)

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The prosecutor’s office said evidence found at the crime scene “led detectives to believe that Massey was the perpetrator,” but when detectives went to speak to Massey in the days after Bottino was killed, Massey’s family members reported him missing and told police they had not heard from him since Dec. 23, when he last left his parents’ home in Pine Hill.

Anyone with information is asked to call Camden County Detective Jeremy Jankowski at 856-397-3485 or Pine Hill Police Sgt. John Field at 856-783-1589. Tips can also be emailed to ccpotips@ccprosecutor.org.

In first announcing he was missing last month, the prosecutor’s office described Massey as a “missing and endangered man” and cautioned that he was known “to possibly become aggressive if approached,” The Courier-Post, a newspaper published in South Jersey, reported.

The newspaper, citing court documents, reported that one of Massey’s convictions stemmed from a February 2018 incident when he allegedly broke into a home in Gloucester Township during the middle of the night and attacked a man and woman in bed together. The woman reportedly had ended a romantic relationship with Massey and had previous restraining orders against him.

A criminal complaint said Massey smashed a glass vase over the man’s head before pinning the woman to the floor. The man ran to a neighboring house, where he called 911. The prosecutor’s office did not return a Fox News request for comment Tuesday. 

The Boy Scouts of America’s Garden State Council described the Pine Hill reservation as the closest scout campground to Philadelphia and allows scouts to take part in shooting sports, canoeing, fishing and hiking, among other activities, according to the Associated Press.

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