Second arrest made in Kearny homicide, HCPO says

A second arrest has been made in the Sept. 20 Kearny homicide that took the life of a local man, and like the previous arrest, it does not charge a defendant with causing the death, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said today.

Matthew Kochell, 32, of Kearny, is charged with one count of desecrating/disturbing human remains, a crime of the second degree. He was arrested Wednesday, Sept.å 21, 2022 and is currently being held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in South Kearny.

Kochell’s name has appeared in the Kearny police blotter several times. He was charged in 2020 with bias intimidation (assault & harassment) after he reportedly approached a woman near Kearny and Wilson avenues and made harassing comments about her gender identity and expression and his perception of her sexual orientation and then poked her and slapped her in the face, Capt. Timothy Wagner reported in the Sept. 2, 2020, blotter.

The state has filed a detention motion for Kochell and co-defendant Elliot Barton, 39, of Kearny, who was arrested earlier this week on the same charges as Kochell. Barton is tentatively scheduled to appear in court Monday, Sept. 26, while Kochell is tentatively scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, Sept. 27.

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, at approximately 5:45 a.m., the Kearny Police Department received a 911 call about a man lying on the ground in the area of Belgrove Drive and Afton Street. Responding officers located a male victim — later identified as Corey McFadden, 34, of Kearny – with multiple apparent stab wounds to the lower body and he was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:20 a.m.

Additional charges in this matter may be expected. The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit and the Kearny Police Department are actively investigating this case. Anyone with information is asked to contact the HCPO at (201) 915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip at All information is kept confidential.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.