- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) - A northern New Jersey man admits that he killed and dismembered his girlfriend, but told a newspaper that her death was an accident.

Matthew Ballister III faces murder charges in the death of April Wyckoff, a 43-year-old Cranford resident who authorities believe was killed in Ballister’s Union Township home in October 2013. Remains found several days later along the Passaic River in Newark were identified as Wyckoff’s.

Ballister told NJ.com (http://bit.ly/1Gm4VkN ) that on the day Wyckoff died, the couple had been using drugs and had argued. Ballister said that while he was high he tried to electrocute Wyckoff but instead shocked himself.

After deciding they should go to a hospital, Ballister said he put Wyckoff in the back seat of his Hummer, which was in the driveway of his home. He said he went back inside to retrieve something, then returned to the vehicle and started backing down the driveway.

Ballister says that unbeknownst to him, Wyckoff had gotten out of the vehicle and was hiding underneath it. He said a front tire ran over Wyckoff’s head.

In the hours after Wyckoff died, Ballister said he spoke with his mother - who also is charged in the case - and then decided to get rid of Wyckoff’s body. He pulled her body into his garage, dismembered it, then placed the body parts in plastic bags and disposed of them.

Besides the murder count, Ballister also was indicted on charges of burglary, desecrating human remains, hindering apprehension, making terroristic threats and weapons offenses. He remains in custody at the Union County Jail, where the newspaper interview was held.

Ballister’s 70-year-old mother, Eleanor Schofield of Springfield, was charged with hindering apprehension for allegedly interfering in the investigation. She maintains her innocence.

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office declined comment Monday on Ballister’s statements.

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Information from: NJ.com, http://www.nj.com

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