An Egg Harbor Township man entered a guilty plea to reckless manslaughter for strangling his wife and dumping her body on the side of a creek. He faces nine years in prison when he is sentenced next month, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel stated.
In accordance with the plea agreement, John Hilyard, 49, must serve seven years, seven months and 24 days, or 85 percent of the prison term, for the Nov. 3, 2009 death of 45-year-old Chun Yan Hilyard, before being eligible for parole, according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Dana B. Litke, who represented the state.
Hilyard, of 136 Bridle Path Drive, strangled his wife sometime in the early morning hours on Nov. 3 during an altercation in their home. Hilyard then removed his wife’s body, drove to Fenton Mill’s Creek in Egg Harbor Township and placed her body on the side of the creek. At 7:40 a.m. on Nov. 4 a jogger discovered the victim’s body and called police. Later that same day, Hilyard went to the police department to report his wife missing. An investigation of the discovery and the missing persons report led to Hilyard’s arrest. An Atlantic County Grand Jury indicted Hilyard on Feb. 3, 2010, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Litke said.