MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. – Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that a Lumberton man was sentenced today to 15 years in New Jersey state prison for killing an acquaintance in late 2016 and burying his body in the back yard of the Lumberton home he shared with his father and brother.
Bryan Costello, 26, must serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. The sentence was handed down in Superior Court by the Hon. Jeanne T. Covert, P.J.Cr.
Under an agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office, Costello pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter (First Degree) in April. He admitted that he fatally beat Justin Dubois, 23, 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 in March of Hindering Apprehension and Desecration of Human Remains after he admitted his role in burying Dubois. He faces a retrial next month on an Aggravated Manslaughter charge for Dubois’ homicide.
The investigation into the killing began as a missing persons case when a relative of the victim who lives at a separate residence contacted police on October 31, 2016 and indicated she had not seen nor heard from him 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 Costello was 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.