Family of murdered Cranford woman seeks assistance

CRANFORD, NJ — Family members of April Wyckoff, a Cranford resident who was murdered nearly four years ago, have created a GoFundMe page to assist with costs associated with attending the trial for her accused killer.

Matthew Ballister was arrested within a day of allegedly killing his 43-year-old girlfriend in his Union home in October 2013. Wyckoff’s dismembered remains were found on the edge of the Passaic River in Newark days after Ballister’s arrest.
He has claimed her death was an accident. The trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 28.

Wyckoff’s sister, Shelia Schenesky McGraw, created the fundraising effort to in order to pay for travel costs and other expenses for the family members who wish to be present. The trial is anticipated to last from four to six weeks. Wyckoff’s parents and brother currently live in South Jersey and McGraw lives in Florida.

“Finally, nearly four years after her murder, on August 28, 2017, the trial proceedings are going to begin,” McGraw wrote on the page. “Our goal is to raise $20,000 to cover the trial that will take four to six weeks. That is four to six weeks of my parents, brother and I not being able to work so we can attend the trial and see justice prevail for my sister.

“We will need plane tickets and will be traveling 150 miles each day to and from the courthouse. That will be three to five hours a day driving depending on traffic on top of an emotionally draining full day of court. We will incur extra expenses in addition to our regular bills while taking an extended period of time off from work, most of it unpaid for the four of us. Your donations will help ease the financial burden this will cause my family.”

So far the page has raised more than $3,300 for the family.
“We have been so fortunate to have unwavering support from family, friends and even strangers over the past three years and 10 months,” McGraw wrote in an Aug. 13 email. “I don’t know what we would have done without that support. We are extremely grateful to everyone that has been there and continued to be there for us both emotionally and financially as we travel this devastatingly horrible path we have been forced down.

“The trial outcome we want to see is a conviction then the maximum sentence imposed, which would be life in prison without the possibility of parole. We all love and miss April more than words can say and wish every single day that she was still here with us. If we raise more than $20,000, we will most likely donate it to a domestic violence agency.”

The family has waited four years for the trial to begin. They initially had to wait five days for police to discover the entirety of Wyckoff’s body and weeks for her body to be released before holding a funeral for her.

“My parents have endured monthly court hearings, sometimes twice a month, over the last three and a half years, essentially forced to see the evil monster that murdered their daughter face to face,” McGraw said.

Wyckoff was the mother of a 16-year-old daughter and 23-year-old son.
“Our family is originally from Roselle and Cranford,” McGraw said in the email. “April lived in Cranford for the past 10 years while working for Bed, Bath and Beyond’s corporate office as the senior supply chain project leader at the time of her death.”

“April was a beautiful person inside and out, she was so full of love and laughter. She was a mother of two wonderful children,” McGraw said. “She was taken before she could see her young daughter graduate from high school and go to college.”
“She is loved and missed more than words can describe.”