NJ man cut daughter from will, then she slaughtered him and his girlfriend, cops say
SURF CITY — The sale of a $2 million home on Long Beach Island and a will were at the center of the stabbing deaths of a couple who were found dead on Sunday.
The bloodied bodies of John Enders, 87, of Surf City, and Francoise "Frenchie" Pitoy, 75, of Manchester, were discovered by Surf City Police at Enders' home on North 7th Street around 4 p.m. after police were called to perform a wellness check, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.
Pennsylvania State Police arrested Enders' daughter, Sherry Lee Heffernan, 55, at her Landenberg, Pennsylvania home on Monday and charged her with two counts of first-degree murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon.
According to the affidavit filed by investigators, the couple — together for 15 years — may have been dead for several days before police found them.
Enders' body was in a recliner while Pitoy's naked body was resting on the landing of the stairs. Both had numerous slash and stab wounds and injuries from blunt force trauma.
An estranged family
According to the affidavit John Gofus, a friend of Enders and Pitoy, told investigators Enders was estranged from one of his two daughters, Terry, and had a strained relationship with Sherry Heffernan.
He had not seen Heffernan at the house in over two years, investigators said.
Sherry was upset that her father was not using her as the real estate broker in the sale of the house, according to the affidavit.
The friend also told investigators that Enders had changed his will within the past month to cut out both daughters. The affidavit does not say whether Heffernan was aware of the change in the will but the friend told police that he knew she was "disgruntled" about the house sale.
After Heffernan’s arrest, her son told Pennsylvania State Police that he had last seen his grandfather in May at his graduation, according to the affidavit.
Heffernan's son told police that he and his mother thought Pitoy was a "gold digger" who was pushing for the house to be sold.
He confirmed that the RV parked outside their home belonged to his mother and that she had gone to LBI to visit her father on Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Surveillance cameras capture Sherry Heffernan's travels
Surveillance cameras captured Heffernan driving towards LBI in her RV, a 2003 Ford Winnebago, on the Route 72 bridge in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday, Sept. 29, according to the affidavit.
Other cameras captured the RV driving towards her father's home while Ring video was found showing her in the backyard of a neighboring home, police said.
More video shows her leaving LBI, and an automatic license plate reader registered her getting on the Garden State Parkway, police said.
Ocean County Sheriff's Office detectives later found numerous blood stains on the RV carpet, officials said.
No contact for several days leads to wellness check
The request for the wellness check came from Pitoy’s daughter, who last spoke to her mother on Friday, Sept. 24.
On Saturday, Oct. 2 Pitoy's daughter called Heffernan, who gave her a phone number that turned out to be nonworking.
Pitoy’s daughter tried unsuccessfully calling four times on Oct. 3 and then called police seeking the wellness check.
Police found blood spattered throughout the house, including on the railing, the doorknob of the back door, drawers, cabinets and a closet door handle.
There was also several bloody footprints and shoeprints as well as a discarded rubber glove, police said.
A tooth was found in the bedroom.
Both Enders and Pitoy lost "massive" amounts of blood, officials said.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ