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High Bail Set For Suspect In South Jersey Murder Of Mother And Son

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By David Madden and Robin Rieger

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (CBS) – A Deptford, NJ man charged with the murders of a mother and son in Hammonton, NJ last month appeared briefly today in Atlantic County Court.

Meanwhile, prosecutors are seeking what could be a key piece if evidence in the case.

Patrick Latko, 32, had little to say during his first appearance before Judge Bernard DeLury, who set bail at $2 million for the stabbing deaths of 64-year-old Diana Patterson and her 29-year-old son, Ryan (see previous stories). 

The fatal stabbing stunned the Hammonton community; the arrest has hit friends hard as well. Latko and Patterson went to Pennco Tech together, rode dirt bikes and are pictured together on Latko’s Facebook page, now full of derogatory comments.

Latko allegedly posted this statement on Patterson’s Facebook page a day after the murders:

“To my friend, I will miss you and your mother. We always had fun even if it was running to WaWa for lunch or your partying at the race in Wildwood or…in the garage. Your friend, Patrick

Atlantic County prosecutor Ted Housel won’t discuss a possible motive in the case, but he says he would like to track down Ryan’s iPhone, which cannot be found.

“Any iPhone contains all sorts of information with respect to text messages and e-mail and phone messages,” Housel notes, “(so) we’d like to get (them) off of the phone rather than be limited to obtaining it from the carriers.”

Housel confirms that phone was used to call 911 when the slayings occurred but won’t say who actually made the call.

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