CLARK/LINDEN — A year after the brutal murders of two women took place in Clark and Linden, the cases remain unsolved. That has not been easy for local police or the Union County Homicide Task force, who continue to focus on apprehending these murderers.
Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the grisly murder of Clark resident Vera Pecoraro, the 73-year-old who resided on Rolling Hill Way. Throat cut and suffering from multiple knife wounds, the victim lay dead in her home until her son discovered his mother’s body at 6:48 p.m. A serrated knife nearby was the only clue to the vicious murder in the house where no forced entry was found and nothing appeared to be missing.
At the time authorities said they did not believe residents on the quiet street were in any danger because it appeared Pecoraro was specifically targeted. Although police indicated there were several avenues they were pursuing in resolving the murder, a year later, those trails have all gone cold and the murderer continues to elude apprehension.
This week Acting Prosecutor Grace Park appealed to the public for any information that might lead to an arrest in the case.
Looking back, former prosecutor Theodore Romankow initially said it was unclear whether the death was a homicide or suicide, but the medical examiner soon reported a murder definitely had taken place. From that point the Homicide Task Force launched an investigation along with the Clark Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit and Prosecutor’s Office Forensic Laboratory. Despite this intense focus on finding all evidence possible, a year has now passed without an arrest.
Park is focusing on solving the Pecoraro murder, explaining her take on what took place.
“We continue to believe that this was not a random act and that residents in the area are not in any danger,” said Park who took over as acting prosecutor June 17. “It is likely, however, that someone out there has information that can lead to the capture of the killer.”
Park said forensic evidence was found at the scene and while investigators have conducted dozens of interviews and remained vigilant in following every lead, it has not led to the apprehension of the person who committed this violent crime.
The acting prosecutor and investigators want residents to think back to that day, July 6, and try to remember anything out of the ordinary they might have witnessed. Park said the weather was similar, and being it was just two days after the July 4 holiday, perhaps this would spark some memory that could be of help in the investigation.
“Maybe it was a car or van that was unfamiliar to the neighborhood, or an unusual sound or activity,” the acting prosecutor said, adding even the smallest detail residents recall could help bring about an arrest and answer many questions for authorities.
Those wishing to help police with a tip or even the most minor detail can remain anonymous by calling 908-654-TIPS or online at uctip.org . Additionally, anyone with information can contact the Homicide Task Force Detective Terrance Harrison at 908-527-3807. Union County Crime Stoppers is also offering an award of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for this homicide.
In Linden, another family grieves for the senseless killing of Amber Wilson, an 18-year-old gunned down during a robbery. Last week, Park returned to the scene at the end of a driveway on the 500 block of Hussa Street to try and bring focus to a case that also has grown cold.
A year after she was killed while walking home with friends, the Union County homicide Task force has tirelessly continued to investigate the shooting death of Wilson, the co-captain of the Linden High School Cheerleading squad and member of the high school’s traveling dance troupe. The teen, who planned to go into law enforcement, was walking back from a local Dunkin Donuts when she was approached and robbed. During the robbery words were exchanged and the high school graduate was shot, according to Park. It is also possible, the acting prosecutor said, that Wilson knew her attacker.
“We want to focus attention on this tragic crime and try and get someone to come forward and do the right thing,” Park said, adding that “someone knows something, or the person responsible and they should come forward.”
Investigators working on the case believe that certain people know more about what took place that day and failed to inform police. They also feel that other people know the identity of the robber and murderer.
Although few details about the robbery and murder have been released and authorities have refused to comment on the possibility that Wilson knew the person who shot her in the head, they are asking the public to come forward with any detail that might help solve the crime.
Anyone with information can call the Union County Crime stoppers at 908-654-TIPS or text UCTIP plus a message to 274637. Information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for the death of Wilson are eligible for a reward up to $5,000.