JACKSON — The decomposed remains found at a controlled burn site in March in Ocean County were determined to be those of Cody MacPherson, who went missing after a fight at his girlfriend's house last September — and another man has been charged with his murder.

Cody MacPherson, 20, was at the home of a girl with whom he was romantically involved in the Browns Mills section of Pemberton on Friday night and was last seen on Sept. 23, authorities have said. A missing persons report was filed on Sept. 24 but no sign of him was ever found after multiple searches.

A body later identified as MacPherson's was found on March 20 as New Jersey Forest Fire Service crews prepared a controlled burn in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area off Stump Tavern Road in Jackson, and noticed a body and a human skull under some logs, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.

The identity was confirmed during a post-mortem examination at Community Medical Center in Toms River and by a State Police DNA analysis, Coronato said.

Coronato, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Col. Patrick J. Callahan of the State Police announced Monday their investigation determined Alan McGinnis of Pemberton stabbed MacPherson multiple times at a home located at 234 Pardee Boulevard in Pemberton.

He then used a vehicle at the residence to take MacPherson's body to Jackson, and returned to the forest a week later to destroy evidence, they said.

McGinnis also cleaned the Pardee Boulevard home of blood and other evidence, they said.

Forensics experts determined the cause of death to be a stab wound to the left abdomen, and the manner of death to be homicide, Coronato, Coffina and Callahan said.

Law enforcement did not offer a motive for the stabbing or describe the relationship between MacPherson and McGinnis.

McGinnis was charged with with murder, kidnapping, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, improper disposal of human remains, and destruction of evidence. He is currently being held at the Ocean County Jail.

MacPherson's brother, Daniel, posted the news on Saturday in a post on his Facebook page, and thanked all who helped in the search for his brother

"You truly have blessed hearts. We can never repay you," he wrote, and asked for privacy.

"Talk to a family member you haven't talked to in awhile and tell them you love them," Daniel MacPherson wrote.

Coronado asked anyone with information about the case to call 732-929-2027.

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