FREEHOLD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A man accused of killing a New Jersey teenager was to face a judge on Thursday afternoon.

Police said the suspect stabbed the 16-year-old girl to death. They apparently were dating, CBS2’s Crystal Bui reported.

It is expected that 20-year-old Bryan Cordero-Castro will be formally charged with first-degree murder in connection with Madison Wells’ death.

Prosecutors also plan to charge Cordero-Castro with weapon possession and attempted escape, CBS2’s Bui reported.

Because of that attempted escape charge, prosecutors said the suspect is a flight risk. He is expected to face those charges by closed-circuit television, from where he’s being held.

Family members said Wells, who attended Long Branch High School, and the suspect began dating after meeting at work, and the pair were allegedly at a relative’s house late Saturday night when the girl was stabbed.

In Wells’ obituary, friends and family write in part, “Madison loved making at-home science projects, doing her makeup and bike riding.”

Prosecutors said Cordero-Castro is from Guatemala and living in the country illegally.

On Wednesday night, hundreds of people showed up to Wells’ vigil. Her father told Bui she was brutally killed.

“Stabbed her to death and then ran like a coward,” Ed Wells said.

If convicted of murder, Cordero-Castro faces at least 30 years in prison.

Wells will be laid to rest on Friday.


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