A 91-year-old woman was killed inside her Elizabeth home yesterday in what authorities believe was a robbery attempt, announced Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.
The victim, Annette Hempel DOB: 11/24/1919 lived on the first floor of a two family home at 673 Jefferson Avenue in Elizabeth. She was last seen alive by a family member who lives on the second floor around 2:30p on Thursday. When the family member returned a few hours later they found Ms. Hempel on the floor of the living room unresponsive, said Romankow. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:21p.m. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, however at this time, because of investigative reasons, the manner of death is not available for release.
A nearly life-long resident of the city Hempel was known in the neighborhood as a kind woman.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their home,” said Romankow. “This is nothing but a senseless and brutal act against a defnelsess woman. As with all homicides we will use every available resource to make sure the killer is captured.”
Union County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or people responsible for the homicide of Ms. Hempel. Anonymous calls may be placed to 908-654-TIPS or via the Internet at www.uctip.org.
The Union County Homicide Task Force is receiving assistance in the investigation from a number of agencies, including the County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Unit. Evidence continues to be collected and examined. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.