News

Arrest Made in Homicide Investigation

November 25, 2019

Cape May Court House, New Jersey – Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland and New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick J. Callahan announce the arrest of Josephine A. Scheid on first degree murder charges.

In December of 2018 the New Jersey State Police Homicide South Unit received information regarding the suspicious death of Gabrielle Michaelis, a 59 year old resident of Bellplain, New Jersey who died on October 31, 2018. A joint investigation was then conducted by Major Crimes Detectives from the New Jersey State Police Homicide South Unit and the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office.

During the course of this investigation, on September 23, 2019, the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner ruled Michaelis’ manner of death a homicide and the cause of death as intoxication due to hydromorphine, alprazolam, and lorazepam.

On November 8, 2019, with the assistance of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Detectives with the State Police and the Prosecutor’s Office arrested Josephine Scheid without incident at her residence in the 4000 block of Trails Drive in Sarasota, Florida.

Josephine A. Scheid, a 36 year old white female and daughter of the victim, was charged with murder, a crime of the first degree; computer criminal activity, a crime of the second degree; abandonment / neglect of an elderly person, a crime of the third degree; endangering an injured victim, a crime of the third degree; criminal restraint, a crime of the third degree; misapplication of entrusted property, a crime of the third degree; perjury, a crime of the third degree; tampering with evidence, a crime of the fourth degree; and obstructing the administration of law, a crime of the fourth degree. Scheid was lodged in the Sarasota County Jail pending extradition back to New Jersey.*

Prosecutor Sutherland and Colonel Callahan commend the Major Crimes Detectives from the New Jersey State Police Homicide South Unit and the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, along with the Sarasota County and Manatee County Sheriff’s Offices in Florida and all of the law enforcement agencies who were involved in this joint homicide investigation.

Prosecutor Sutherland advises individuals found guilty of first degree murder can be sentenced to a period of 30 years to life in New Jersey State Prison. Crimes of the third degree can be sentenced to 3 to 5 years and fourth degree crimes can carry a sentence of up to 18 months.

Prosecutor Sutherland stated this is an ongoing investigation and urges anyone who has information concerning this investigation to contact the New Jersey State Police at 609-882-2000 or the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-465-1135. Information can also be reported anonymously through the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line at cmcsheriff.net and click on anonymous tip, or through the Cape May County Crime Stoppers, 609-465-2800.

* Any charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless she is proven guilty.