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Pennsylvania woman receives two life sentences for the gruesome double murder of her father and his girlfriend in New Jersey

Sherry Lee Heffernan (OCJ)
Sherry Lee Heffernan (OCJ)

Sherry Lee Heffernan, 57, of Pennsylvania, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in New Jersey State Prison in connection with the murders of John Enders and Francois Pitoy in Surf City on or about September 29, 2021.

Heffernan was found guilty on March 1, 2024, after a nearly four-week jury trial before Judge Rahill.

On October 3, 2021, at approximately 4:00 p.m., Surf City Police officers responded to a residence on North 7th Street to conduct a welfare check on the residents.

Read: Three sentenced to life in Washington state in 2017 for quadruple murder of family

When they arrived, officers found the bodies of John Enders, 87, of Surf City, and Francoise Pitoy, 75, of Manchester; It was obvious that both victims were already deceased.

On October 4, 2021, the Ocean County Coroner conducted an autopsy on Mr. Enders and determined the cause of death to be multiple stab wounds with transection of the right carotid artery and blunt force trauma; The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

“An autopsy conducted on Ms. Pitoy on October 5, 2021 revealed that the cause of death was multiple stab wounds as well as a gunshot wound to the face; The manner of her death was also ruled a homicide,” the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office said.

“Due to Ms. Pitoy’s gunshot wound, the coroner conducted an additional examination of Mr. Enders and determined that he had also sustained a gunshot wound to the face,” OCPO said.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit, the Surf City Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff's Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit determined that the victims were involved in a relationship and that Mr. Enders was the primary owner of the residence.

Read: South Carolina woman sentenced to 22 years in prison for murder of baby after newborn found in trash bag in her Jeep

Ms. Pitoy regularly stayed with him at the residence. The joint investigation ultimately found that Heffernan – Mr Enders' daughter – was responsible for the deaths of Mr Enders and Ms Pitoy.

Interviews with neighbors and relatives revealed that Heffernan and her sister had recently been cut from their father's will, according to an affidavit filed by Surf City Police Detective Sgt. Victor Rice, NJ.com reported.

On October 4, 2021, Pennsylvania State Police took Heffernan into custody at her residence in Landenberg, Pennsylvania. She was returned to New Jersey on October 20, 2021 and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since then.

Read: Maryland woman found dead in bathtub, her son charged with murder

“This defendant will spend the rest of her life in prison. “This is an appropriate sentence and we hope it brings some closure to the family and friends of John and Francois,” said prosecutor Billhimer.

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Anna Harden

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