MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. – Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Lumberton man admitted today in Superior Court that he killed an acquaintance in late 2016 and buried his body in the back yard of the Lumberton home he shared with his father and brother.
Bryan Costello, 26, pled guilty to one count of Aggravated Manslaughter (First Degree). Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Costello will receive a term of 15 years in New Jersey state prison for the death of Justin Dubois, 23. The Hon. Jeanne T. Covert, P.J. Cr., set sentencing for June 1.
Costello admitted in Superior Court that he beat Dubois with a baseball bat and buried the body in the backyard of the family’s Spencer Court home with the help of his brother, Christopher, 29.
Christopher Costello was convicted last month of Hindering Apprehension and Desecration of Human Remains after he admitted his role in burying Dubois. He faces a retrial for Aggravated Manslaughter in July.
The investigation into the killing began as a missing persons case when a relative of Dubois who lives at a separate residence contacted police on October 31, 2016 and indicated she had not seen nor heard from Justin Dubois since Oct. 27, which was uncharacteristic.
Investigators who were executing a search warrant at the Costellos’ residence observed an area in the back yard where the soil appeared to have been recently tilled. Excavation of the area uncovered the body of Justin Dubois.
Bryan and Christopher Costello are being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Bob VanGilst, supervisor of the BCPO Major Crimes Unit.
The case was investigated by the BCPO Major Crimes Unit, Crime Scene Unit and High-Tech Crimes Unit, the Lumberton Police Department and the West Windsor Police Department. The lead investigators were BCPO Detective Nick Villano, BCPO Detective Tom LaRosa (formerly of the Lumberton Police Department) and West Windsor Police Department detectives William Jones and Carey Zacheis.