SURF CITY – A Pennsylvania woman has been charged with two counts of Murder in connection to the suspicious deaths of two people in a Surf City home.
On October 3, officers from the Surf City Police Department were conducting a welfare check on residents who lived on North 7th Street. Inside, police discovered the bodies of John Enders, 87, of Surf City, and Francoise Pitoy, 75, of Manchester.
After the Ocean County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination of Enders on October 4, the cause of death was found to be multiple stab wounds with severance of the right carotid artery and blunt force trauma, ruling the death a homicide.
Investigation revealed that the victims were dating, with Enders being the primary owner of the home and Pitoy staying with him on a regular basis.
Police ultimately determined that Sherry Lee Heffernan, 55, of Landenberg, Pennsylvania, who is Enders’ daughter, was responsible for their deaths.
Pennsylvania State Police arrested Heffernan on October 4 at her home and she will be lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Heffernan was charged with two counts of Murder, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and Unlawful Possession of Weapon.
“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,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said. “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. Every law enforcement officer involved this investigation has my profound gratitude.”
Prosecutor Billhimer and Surf City Police Chief John N. Casella, Jr., commended the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Intelligence Squad, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Surf City Police Department, Long Beach Township Police Department, Stafford Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Pennsylvania State Police, Maryland State Police, Collegeville (Pennsylvania) Police Department, North East (Maryland) Police Department, and Ocean County Motor Vehicle Services, for their collective and cooperative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Heffernan’s apprehension.
The charges referenced are merely accusations and the public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.