October 20, 2010 - 5:53 pm
MAYS LANDING, N.J. — A judge in New Jersey has ordered a mother and son wanted on murder charges in Las Vegas held without bail.
Michelle Costello, 43, and her 19-year-old son, Peter, will remain in the Atlantic County Jail for 30 days while officials wait for a warrant from Nevada.
They are wanted by Las Vegas police in connection with the Sept. 20 slaying of Costello’s 65-year-old husband, Bert English.
The mother and son were arrested Saturday at Resorts Atlantic City after a casino customer recognized them from the "America’s Most Wanted" program.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel said neither waived extradition during a brief hearing Wednesday and a new court date will be scheduled.
Neither has retained a lawyer.
New Jersey state Police Sgt. Stephen Jones said Jama Rhodes of Atlantic City, 34, approached casino security Saturday and told them there were "a couple of murderers on the casino floor." Rhodes could not remember the suspects’ names, but told security officials she had recently seen a media report about them that included their photos.
Rhodes happened to see the report a short time after the Costellos had gone to the business where Rhodes works, seeking to rent an apartment above the business, Jones said.
She and a co-worker noticed that the Costellos resembled the people pictured in the report.
Rhodes then happened to be in the casino at the same time the Costellos were there and, upon recognizing them, notified casino security, who contacted state police detectives.
The detectives directed casino security to maintain surveillance on the pair while they quickly searched online for information about the suspects. They soon learned from the website of "America’s Most Wanted" that the Costellos had been profiled on the show.
According to the TV show’s website, Las Vegas police found his body in the master bedroom of the couple’s apartment after Michelle Costello called 911 to report that he was unresponsive. She and her son then left the Southern Nevada area that day.
Costello and English had first married several years ago and eventually divorced, but they had remarried in July.
After confirming that the Costellos were wanted by Las Vegas police in connection with the Sept. 20 slaying of Bert English, New Jersey state police detectives Thomas Wieczerak and Gene Hanemann and an Atlantic City police officer approached the Costellos, and they were arrested without incident.