Nearly four months after a Republican New Jersey councilwoman was murdered outside her home, a suspect known to the victim was arrested Tuesday in Virginia.
(Video: Fox 5)
Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone held a press conference after 28-year-old Rashid Ali Bynum was taken into custody by law enforcement officials from New Jersey, Virginia and the FBI in connection with the February death of Sayreville Borough Council member Eunice Dwumfour.
“The murder has shaken the community, and no arrest will bring back the late councilwoman,” Ciccone said after announcing the charges brought against the suspect. “However, I do trust that justice will be found through the criminal justice process.”
Awaiting extradition from Virginia, Bynum was charged with first-degree murder and two gun possession offenses after investigators were able to place his white Hyundai and cell phone at the scene at the time of Dwumfour’s murder.
On Feb. 1, the victim had been in her car outside her Sayreville, New Jersey home when she was shot multiple times. At the time, police suspected that she had been targeted, but no motive was identified.
NEW: Republican councilwoman gunned down, dies outside her home in New Jersey https://t.co/Ha3JrI4oZS
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) February 2, 2023
Even after Bynum’s arrest, the prosecutor’s office did not release details related to motive. However, along with providing further evidence that connected him to the shooting, pieces of the suspect’s connection to the victim were revealed.
The councilwoman’s phone contacts included her alleged murderer with the acronym “FCF” beside it, which Ciccone indicated meant “Fire Congress Fellowship,” a church that Dwumfour had once been associated with. That fellowship was said to be connected with the Champion Royal Assembly Church, to which the victim belonged at the time of her death.
“Additional records reveal that on the day of the murder, Bynum searched the internet for information on Champion Royal Assembly Church as well as the area in Sayreville, New Jersey,” the prosecutor said at the conference.
The prosecutor also detailed that Bynum’s Hyundai and cell phone were picked up passing through a tollbooth in New Jersey, the suspect had searched online for magazines compatible with a specific handgun, and “Surveillance video was recovered capturing the suspect fleeing from the scene…Additionally, a witness at the scene described the suspect as a thin, black male possibly 5’10” to 6 feet tall in height, having ear-length braids or dreads. Another witness described a suspiciously parked Hyundai observed in the area minutes before the murder.”
John Wisniewski, attorney for the victim’s family, spoke with the press after Ciccone’s conference and regarding whether a motive was known or not, “Maybe [the prosecutors] know, but certainly they haven’t shared that and that is something that is subjecting the family as we speak right now.”
Though questions were not answered following the press conference, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin did address his comments directly to the victim’s family and said, “There are no words that can be said to you that can make you whole.”
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