SAYREVILLE – A 30-year-old borough councilwoman was shot to death near her home Wednesday night, authorities said.
Eunice Dwumfour was found by Sayreville police officers with several gunshot wounds, dead in her vehicle, authorities said.
A 911 call reported shots fired around 7:22 p.m. in the area of Samuel Circle in the Parlin section of the borough, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Sayreville Police Chief Daniel Plumacker.
Authorities have released nothing further about the slaying.
At a news conference about the man charged with attempting to burn down a Bloomfield synagogue – Nicholas Malindretos, 26, of Clifton – FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Newark Field Office, James E. Dennehy, said the FBI has some involvement in the Dwumford case.
“The FBI is aware of that incident and we are working with all of our partners in order to find out more about that incident,” he said.
Dennehy declined to respond to further questions about whether the FBI is officially part of the investigation.
Aside from her role on Sayreville Borough Council, Dwumford was a mother and an IT business professional who had worked at several places on the East Coast since 2014, both for businesses and churches.
On LinkedIn, Eunice Dwumfour listed her job as director of churches for Champions Royal Assembly in Newark, where she had worked since May 2015, and as a Scrum software coach and IT business analyst at Fire Congress Fellowship, Inc.
She recently sent out a message on LinkedIn saying she was looking to make a change, although she did not specify from what.
“Hi everyone – I am looking for a new role and would appreciate your support. Thank you in advance for any connections, advice, or opportunities you can offer,” the post, listed a month ago, reads.
Earlier, she worked for Telesis in Virginia and Marriot Hotels in Bethesda, Maryland.
She attended William Paterson University in Wayne, graduating in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies, her resume reads.
A sign for Champions Royal Assembly can be seen on the second floor at 982 Broad St. in Newark. On Thursday afternoon the door to the storefront nearest to it on the first floor was padlocked shut. The sign listed hours for the church for Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. No one answered any of the three phone numbers listed on the sign.
“I heard loud gunshots, at least five in a row, and then I think there was a little delay and then I think five more. Something you would hear, you know, if somebody wanted to kill somebody,” Sgrillo said. “It was very loud, I live right here, it was like it was right outside the door.”
She was still shaken up and surprised that such a brutal attack happened so close.
“Not in Sayreville, not in this complex. You can walk your dog at night,” she said. “My heart is still pounding, my heart, it still thumping away. It was scary.
She recalled how the councilwoman presented herself in her neighborhood.
“She was always dressed up so nice and pretty,” she said. “It was bad, it had to be bad.”
Chyann Brown had just gotten home when the police arrived on scene. She said she could see bullet casings in the road and that Dwumfour’s car had rolled down the street into another car.Brown lives next door to Dwumfour’s sister and has interacted with Dwumfour and her daughter on many occasions.
“She was a really sweet lady,” she said. “Never in any altercations.”
USA Today Network New Jersey reached the councilwoman’s father, Prince Dwumfour, by phone.
His daughter Eunice he recently married a man in Nigeria, Eze Kings, who has not yet traveled to the United States, he said.
He said his daughter was living in Sayreville with her 12-year-old girl from a prior relationship.
“She was very humble, had respect,” he said.
Her sister, Priscilla, 20, said Eunice, who was born in the United States, was deeply wrapped up in her Christian faith. She attended church at Champions Royal Assembly in Newark.
“She was always happy,” Priscilla said.
A Republican, she won her seat on the Council in 2021. She was the liaison to Public Safety, which includes police, fire and EMS, as well as liaison to the Sayreville Human Relations Commission. She also served on the Public Works and Recreation committees.
“As a community we are shocked and saddened at the loss of Eunice Dwumfour,” Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Eunice was a dedicated member of our Borough Council who was truly committed to serve all of our residents. The fact that she was taken from us by a despicable criminal act makes this incident all the more horrifying.”
The mayor said Dwumfour was a woman of deep faith and worked hard to integrate her strong Christian beliefs in to her daily life as a person and a community leader.
“We are confident that our police department working collaboratively with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office will bring this fast-moving investigation to a quick and successful conclusion and look forward to the identification, arrest, and successful prosecution of the person responsible,” Kilpatrick said.
“We remember Eunice for how she lived, not for how she died,” Sayreville Republican Chair Karen Bailey Bebert said in a statement. “She was the embodiment of Sayreville, living the American Dream, overcoming challenges with grit and a smile. And always giving of time and love to others. She embodied Sayreville and will be terribly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know her.”
Authorities are urging anyone with information or surveillance footage of the area to call Sayreville Detective Rebecca Morales at 732-727-4444 or Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Michelle Coppola at 732-745-3477.