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Truck driver arrested in Mass. charged in N.J. slaying

TRENTON, N.J. -- A truck driver has been charged in the stabbing death of a Bloomsbury woman, linked to the crime after being charged in Massachusetts with trying to rape and kidnap a young girl, authorities said yesterday.

The body of Monica Massaro, 38, was found in her apartment on July 30. But authorities were stymied in finding her killer for weeks because she was "very outgoing" and had made many friends via the Internet, said Dan Hurley, deputy chief of investigation for the Hunterdon County prosecutor's office.

On Aug. 20, a federal database that keeps information on truck drivers who are criminal suspects came up with the name of Adam Leroy Lane, 42, a trucker from Jonesville, N.C.

On the day Massaro's body was found, Lane had been arrested in Chelmsford, Mass., on charges of trying to rape a teenage girl after breaking into her home in the middle of the night, said Corey Welford, a spokesman for the Middlesex, Mass., district attorney's office.

Authorities said he was thwarted when the girl's father heard her scream and held Lane until police arrived.

Welford said that during the attack, a masked and gloved Lane was armed with several knives and was wearing a belt with Chinese throwing stars and choke wire.

Found in the cab of his truck parked just off Interstate 495 was a copy of the movie "Hunting Humans," a 2002 movie about a serial killer who picks his victims at random and stalks them, authorities said.

As Lane sat in a Massachusetts jail cell, ordered held without bail on an array of charges including attempted murder and home invasion, authorities in Hunterdon noticed similarities between the two crimes and confirmed that Lane was in the area of Massaro's apartment about the time she was killed, Hurley said.

An affidavit completed by a State Police detective indicated that Lane had some of Massaro's belongings and receipts from a Bloomsbury truck stop dated about the time she was killed, Hurley said.

Lane has been charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree burglary, and one count of third-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, Hurley said.

"We still have a lot to do forensically, but we feel very comfortable with the case," Hurley said.

Authorities are going to look into whether Lane could be linked to other crimes near East Coast truck stops, Hurley said.

"Anything that has occurred around or near a truck stop is certainly going to be looked at," Hurley said. "We're going to drill into his past pretty good."

Lane is scheduled to appear in a Lowell, Mass., court on Sept. 5 for a hearing on the charges against him here.

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