Citizens step up efforts to solve friend’s death

By takesha pettus

SOUTH RIVER — The reward for information leading to a conviction in an unsolved death has been increased to $5,000.

While police are still investigating the possible murder of Lisa Drive resident John Harvey, 47, on March 4, members of Citizens for a Safer South River have stepped up their campaign to solve the mystery.

Dawn Kotora of Citizens for a Safer South River said members have posted additional reward signs for information about person(s) involved. The reward money for information has been increased from $1,000 to $5,000.

"Everybody knew this guy," Kotora said.

According to police accounts, Harvey left the South River Pub on Main Street at approximately 11 p.m. March 4.

He was found unconscious and severely beaten two and a half hours later by two men driving by on Charles Street.

Harvey died of head injuries five days later at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick.

"You can’t really put this to rest until somebody says something," Kotora said.

Friends of Harvey have been campaigning to help his family and the investigation for some time now. Kotora added, the campaign will continue until someone is found responsible.

"Someone has to know something," she said.

A Brooklyn, N.Y., native, Harvey lived in Old Bridge; Queens, N.Y.; and Farmingdale, N.Y., before moving to the borough 10 years ago.

He also served actively in the U.S. Army Reserve, Edison, as a member of the Chemical Corps. Prior to that, he served in the Army during the Vietnam War.

Harvey also attended St. John’s University, New York, and later completed his degree in history at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Divorced, Harvey was the father of four children, including twin daughters who are adults, and another son and daughter who reside in Old Bridge.

Harvey was planning to become a teacher. He had just passed the national test for teacher certification and had submitted résumés to several school districts.

Anyone with information about the case can call the South River Police Department at (732) 238-1000.

Donations may be sent for the John Harvey Fund to the Raritan Bay Credit Union, 93 Main St., South River 08882.