A Pennsylvania woman has been arrested for fatally stabbing her elderly father and his girlfriend inside their upscale bayfront home at the Jersey Shore last Wednesday, cops said.
Sherry Lee Heffernan, 55, was taken into custody for the murders of dad John Enders, 87 and girlfriend Francoise Pitoy, 75, in a 6-bedroom, 4-bathroom Surf City house. She faces charges of murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said Tuesday.
On October 3, at approximately 4:00 p.m., officers from the Surf City Police Department responded to a residence on North 7th Street to conduct a welfare check upon the residents. When they arrived, officers located the bodies of Enders and Pitoy; it was readily apparent they were deceased, having suffered multiple obvious stab wounds.
On October 4, the Ocean County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination of Enders and determined the cause of his death to be multiple stab wounds with severance of the right carotid artery and blunt force trauma; the manner of death was ruled to be a homicide.
The victims were involved in a dating relationship, and that Enders was the primary owner the residence. Pitoy stayed with him at the residence regularly, authorities said.
"The cooperative investigation ultimately determined that Heffernan, Mr. Enders' daughter, was responsible for the deaths of both Mr. Enders and Ms. Pitoy," Prosecutor Billhimer stated.
Heffernan was taken into custody by Pennsylvania State Police at her residence in Landenberg, authorities said.
What was the Motive?
The motive was not immediately disclosed.
As reported by the Asbury Park Press, property records show that Enders moved ownership of the house from a trust status to his name in May via an intrafamily transfer and dissolution.
Days later, the six-bedroom, four-bathroom property was listed for sale at $2,399,000, reported the Press. After two price decreases to $1,999,000, it has been pending sale since Sept. 2, according to multiple real estate websites.
Social media users are slamming the perpetrator for her "shameful" act. One Facebook user said, "All for MONEY? GREED. She needs the death penalty! No mercy. Terrible." Another said, "Money is the root of all evil... disgusting."
One comment read, "Police authorities did a great job...Condolences to all friends and family of the couple. Really sad when you can't trust family, may justice be served."
"Guess she didn't want the younger girlfriend to get any of her inheritance," wrote one user. "She wanted the money from when house sold n found out she wasn't getting any," said another.
One user shared, "Great job to all police personnel who were involved in finding the perpetrator who did this heinous act."