Police & Fire

Unsolved Homicide Reaches Two Year Anniversary; Investigators Renew Pleas for Information; $100,000 Reward Posted

Vera Pecoraro in a file photo from the Union County Prosecutors Office Credits: Union County Prosecutors Office

CLARK, NJ - Two years ago today, the body of 73-year-old Vera Pecoraro was found in her locked home, the victim of an apparent homicide. The crime remains unsolved despite an extensive investigation and forensic evidence found at the scene. No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed in connection to the case.

On Wednesday, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced that investigators are again urging members of the public to come forward with information. An anonymous donor recently offered a reward of up to $100,000 through Union County Crime Stoppers for information leading to an arrest, indictment, and conviction in the case. According to Crime Stoppers, the reward offer will remain in place for no fewer than five years.

It was approximately 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, 2012 when police were called to a home near the juncture of Grouse Lane and Rolling Hill Way in Clark on reports of a deceased female.

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One of Pecoraro’s sons discovered his mother that evening after multiple family members had repeatedly tried to call her by phone earlier in the day. It initially appeared that Pecoraro may have committed suicide, but an autopsy performed by the Union County Medical Examiner’s Office determined definitively that she was the victim of a homicide and died of stab wounds.

The autopsy also determined that Pecoraro likely died the day before she was found, July 6, 2012 – a single day short of her 74th birthday.

Investigators believe that Pecoraro was specifically targeted. There were no signs of forced entry at the home, nothing was believed to have been taken from the home, and Pecoraro’s body exhibited no evidence of defensive wounds.

Detectives are appealing to residents in the area to think back to that day and to try and remember anything out of the ordinary they might have witnessed. The homicide occurred just after the Fourth of July holiday, around the same time Pecoraro was preparing to move.  There were clear skies with high temperatures in the high 90s.

Pecoraro’s home is adjacent to Esposito Park to the east and lies close to the northbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway to the west.

Pecoraro did not have any known enemies.  She was an avid golfer who enjoyed traveling with loved ones and spending time with her grandchildren. At the time of her death, she worked two to three days a week at a local family-owned business.

In addition to administering the aforementioned donated reward, the Union County Crime Stoppers is offering its own reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for the homicide of Vera Pecoraro. Tips can be given anonymously by phone at 908-654-TIPS (8477), via text message by texting “UCTIP” and a message to 274637 (CRIMES), or online at www.uctip.org.

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