On July 25, 2015, the Tewksbury Police Department responded to the Motel 6 for a report that a woman had been held against her will, brutally assaulted and suffocated. The suspect, who was identified as Robert Gardner, 39, of 317 Boston Rd, Billerica, fled the area prior to police arrival. A search of the area with police canine units yielded negative results. This was not believed to be a random act as the victim knew the suspect.
An investigation began into the whereabouts of Gardner. The Tewksbury Police Department worked in conjunction with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section (VFAS) to help locate Gardner.
During the investigation, it was learned that Gardner fled to the Newark, New Jersey area. With the help from the New Jersey State Police/U.S. Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, Gardner was located in a rural area in New Jersey.
Gardner is being charged as a fugitive from justice in New Jersey and will await a rendition hearing to decide when he will be transported to Massachusetts. Gardner will face the following charges in Massachusetts: aggravated rape, assault and battery, kidnapping, suffocation, intimidation of a witness and threats to commit a crime.
We would like to thank all of the agencies involved in this multi-jurisdictional effort to locate Gardner. This was an excellent example of agencies collaborating to ensure a violent fugitive was placed into police custody.
The Tewksbury Police Department urges any citizens who suspect criminal activity to call the Dispatch Center @ 978-851-7373. If you wish to remain anonymous please call the Tip Line @ 978-851-0175 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org