Men Charged in Killing of South Jersey Mom

Deanna Downs was found shot to death behind her apartment complex last fall

Two men were arrested Wednesday night in the shooting death of a mother of two whose body was found behind a South Jersey apartment complex last fall.

Deanna Downs’ body was found October 16 behind the Harbor City Apartments on Atlantic Avenue in Egg Harbor City where Downs lived.

The 29-year-old died from a gunshot wound to the face. At the time of her death Downs had 8- and 10-year-old sons.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Theodore Housel said Thursday that 21-year-old Dontay Matthews of Elwood, N.J. and 28-year-old Mario Adams of Hammonton, N.J. were arrested Wednesday night. A third suspect, Rafael Olmo, is currently in federal custody and will be charged, Housel said.


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Adams was reportedly the triggerman. He and Matthews conspired to kill Down over money that she owed, according to authorities.

Matthews was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Adams faces the same charge plus murder and a weapons charge.

Both men appeared before a judge Thursday and were being held in the county jail, with bail set at $1 million for Adams and $300,000 for Matthews. It wasn't known if either had retained a lawyer.

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