Details of Disappearance
Rosenthal was last seen on Friday, February 22, 1991, when she left her job at the Elwyn Institute, a care facility for disabled individuals in Media, Pennsylvania. She worked as a behavioral management specialist at the facility; she had moved to New Jersey from Canada to take the job.
She is known to have arrived at her apartment at Somerset Towers on Cooper Landing Road in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Her white Honda Prelude was found in the complex parking lot and the front door of her apartment was found unlocked, and the Sunday newspaper was untouched. There were no indications of a disturbance inside. She has never been heard from again.
Authorities initially suspected Rosenthal had left of her own accord; she was having financial problems, had borrowed extensively from relatives, and was about to be evicted. However, her purse, keys, credit cards, identification, and work briefcase were all left behind, and she left her cat alone on her apartment balcony in the winter cold, which is uncharacteristic of her. Her family never thought she left on her own.
A neighbor reported hearing a scream and bumping noises coming from Rosenthal's apartment at 3:45 a.m. on Sunday, February 24. Five hours later, the neighbor heard Rosenthal's sliding glass door open and shut. Police began to look into the theory that she had been abducted and murdered.
Charles E. "Crazy Eddie" Reddish Jr. was a maintenance worker at her apartment complex in 1991. A photo of Reddish is posted with this case summary. In 1995, he had been charged with the ax murder of his girlfriend and the rape of her teenage daughter. (He was convicted in 1999.) When he was arrested for that crime, he told police he had killed Rosenthal.
According to Reddish, he broke into her apartment while she was asleep, planning to simply burglarize it, but Rosenthal woke up and saw him. He beat her and smothered her to death with a pillow so she could not identify him, then stole $80 from her purse and left the residence, leaving the body behind.
A few days later he returned, wrapped the body in a bedspread, put it in a shopping cart and transported it to the trunk of his girlfriend's car. He dumped Rosenthal's corpse in a remote area off Route 130 in Salem County.
In 1997, Reddish was charged with Rosenthal's murder. He reached a plea agreement with the prosecution and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. The deal, however, was contingent on Reddish leading the police to Rosenthal's remains. When he refused to accompany authorities to the designated spot to assist them with the search, he was re-charged with capital murder, and the case went to trial in 2001.
He was convicted and sentenced to death in 2002, but his sentence was commuted to sixty years in prison after the state of New Jersey abolished the death penalty. He remains incarcerated.
Foul play is suspected in Rosenthal's case due to the circumstances involved; her body has never been found.