NEWARK, NJ - An arrest was made Tuesday in the murder of Sarah Butler, 20, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Montclair Police Chief Todd Conforti have announced during a press conference in Newark on Wednesday.
Authorities announced that they have arrested Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, of Orange, who is suspected of the murder of Butler by strangulation.
Wheeler-Weaver is a graduate of East Orange Campus High School and a current student at Essex County College. He has been charged with one count of murder and one count of disturbing of human remains.
Butler was in her second year at New Jersey City University in Jersey City.
Butler was reported missing to the Montclair Police Department on November 23. Her 2007 blue Dodge Caravan was found in Orange and her body was discovered by law enforcement officers on December 1 in Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange.
An autopsy determined that Butler died as a result of compression of the neck and her death was ruled a homicide.
An investigation by the Prosecutor’s Homicide Task Force led to Wheeler-Weaver being arrested last night.
Prosecutors indicated that the two were "acquainted" and encountered each other in Orange on Nov. 22, although they didn't specify how the two knew each other. There's no evidence they were dating, prosecutor's say.
Wheeler-Weaver is being held in the Essex County Correctional Facility. Bail has been set at $1,000,000 by the Honorable Stephanie Ann Mitterhoff, J.S.C. Wheeler-Weaver will be arraigned in Essex County Superior Court at a later date.
THE CHARGES AGAINST THIS DEFENDANT ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS. HE IS
PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY