Officers in Belmar searched Shark River with divers for days to see if Stern may have jumped from the bridge, but no body was found.
Officials in New Jersey were continuing Friday to search for a teenager who disappeared two months ago after investigators charged a childhood friend in her murder. Hours later, her unoccupied vehicle was found on the Route 35 Bridge in Belmar over the Shark River Inlet with the keys still in the ignition. Authorities said Stern left her home on the night of December 2.
Using Stern's auto, the two 19-year-old friends from Neptune City drove Stern's body about a mile to the crest of Route 35 bridge in Belmar and tossed her body over the side early the following morning, authorities allege.
Liam McAtasney, left, is accused of strangling Sarah Stern, center, during a botched robbery, while Preston Taylor, right, allegedly helped him try to cover up the crime.
"Sarah was a good kid and she didn't deserve this", he said.
Stern's father was away on vacation in Florida at the time of her murder.
Search Kicked Into High Gear After Two Arrested In Teen's Murder
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced Thursday that McAtasney was charged with murder in the death of Stern.
"Michael, up until last week when we spoke, had hoped his daughter would come back", he said. After charging them, authorities again resumed the river search on Friday.
McAtasney and Taylor will remain at the Monmouth County jail until detention hearings for Taylor on February 7 and for McAtasney a week after that.
McAtasney was also charged with desecration of human remains, conspiracy to desecrate human remains, hindering apprehension and robbery.
The prosecutor is asking anyone who might have additional information about this case to call the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office at 800-533-7443, the Neptune City Police Department at 732-775-1615, or the Belmar Police Department at 732-681-1700.