Prosecutor: PA Woman Arrested for Killing Her Father and His Girlfriend in Surf City, NJ
Authorities say a woman from Pennsylvania has been charged with two counts of murder in connection to the deaths of two people in Surf City last weekend and one of the people she allegedly killed was her father.
According to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer, 55-year-old Sherry Lee Heffernan of Landenberg, PA, was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police at her home on Monday.
Billhimer's office says the scene unfolded Sunday afternoon when Surf City Police were called to a home on North 7th Street for a welfare check. There, "officers located the bodies of John Enders, 87, of Surf City, and Francoise Pitoy, 75, of Manchester; it was readily apparent they were deceased, having suffered multiple obvious stab wounds."
The Ocean County Medical Examiner said Enders died from multiple stab wounds, "with severance of the right carotid artery and blunt force trauma; the manner of death was ruled to be a homicide."
A post-mortem examination of Pitoy is scheduled for Tuesday.
Billhimer says an investigation revealed the victims were dating and Pitoy frequently stayed in Enders' home on North 7th Street.
"The cooperative investigation ultimately determined that Heffernan, Mr. Enders’ daughter, was responsible for the deaths of both Mr. Enders and Ms. Pitoy," Billhimer said in a statement.
"This truly was a team effort in terms of the depth and comprehensiveness of this investigation. These detectives combed through the evidence to ultimately determine that Heffernan did, in fact, cause the deaths of Mr. Enders and Ms. Pitoy," Billhimer stated. "We were able to determine very early on in the investigation that there was no immediate danger to the public. From there, these detectives went to work doing their absolute best to solve these horrific crimes."
Upon her anticipated return to New Jersey, Heffernan will be lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.