A young mother who served on her borough council in New Jersey was found shot to death in an SUV parked outside her home, authorities said.
Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour, 30, was found at around 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office. She had been shot multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Dwumfour, a Republican, was elected to her first three-year term in 2021, when she ousted a Democratic incumbent. Colleagues recalled her as a soft-spoken devout Christian who could maintain her composure in contentious situations.
“She was a 30-year-old woman. To have this happen in such a tragic way, I mean, our hearts are just broken and everybody wants an answer,” said Karen Bailey Bebert, the local GOP chairwoman who served as her campaign manager. “So we’re waiting with bated breath.”
Authorities have not made any arrests or said whether they believe the motive for the slaying might be personal or political.
In a 2021 campaign interview, Dwumfour described herself as a proud graduate of Newark public schools who earned a degree in women’s studies at William Patterson University while working part-time as an EMT.
She said she moved to Parlin, a section of Sayreville, after graduating “because of the tremendous public safety work the community does.” That interest fuelled her run for council, where she served as a liaison to the police department now helping to investigate her death.
“She just wanted to make a better community for all our children,” said Bebert, who served as her campaign manager.
Dwumfour, who had a school-age child, announced at a fall council meeting that she had recently gotten married, Bebert said. She was active in her church in Newark, she said.
Dwumfour worked in information technology, according to her LinkedIn page, where she posted last month that she was looking for a new opportunity. Her resume also said that she worked for six years with a religious non-profit group.
Several high-ranking state leaders, including Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, issued statements expressing their grief over her death.
Bebert described Dwumfour as an outgoing person who “always had that beautiful smile on her face that you see in her picture.”
Sayreville, a borough of roughly 45,000 people, is about 30 miles (about 48.2 kilometers) south of Manhattan. At the scene Thursday, another car in the parking lot had damage apparently sustained when Dwumfour’s car rolled into it.
Bebert described Sayreville as a peaceful community and said Dwumfour lived in an attractive complex near an elementary school. She hopes to organize a vigil to celebrate what she called “a life cut too short by such a heinous criminal act.”
“She was so young,” she said. “It’s just rippling through the town.”