SOMERVILLE, NJ - Escorted by hundreds of police cars and motorcycles, Piscataway Police Officer Julia Caseres was laid to rest with full honors at the New Cemetery on South Bridge Street Wednesday.
The 28-year-old officer had been a member of the Piscataway Police Department for three years; she had spent the past year battling a rare form of lung cancer and died on June 21. Several dozen of her fellow officers stood at attention during the services.
The funeral procession arrived early in the afternoon after funeral services in Union, led by dozens of police motorcycles from across the state, driving south on Route 206 before turning on to South Bridge Street. Somerville and State Police blocked traffic to allow the procession to make the turn on to South Bridge Street, where the long line of motorcycles and cars drove beneath a massive American flag that was hung between the aerial ladders of two Piscataway fire department trucks.
Traffic was backed up on South Bridge Street as the long line of cars made their way in to the cemetery for the interment.
Hundreds of police officers and family members were in attendance, including the Somerset County Police Pipes & Drums. An honor guard included a volley of rifle fire during the graveside services. A State Police helicopter flew overhead in tribute.
The Piscataway Police Department shared a Facebook post on Saturday announcing her passing.
“It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our sister in blue, Julia Caseres,” said police. "In the few short years Julia was with us she impacted so many. Her beautiful smile and bubbly personality will surely be missed. Rest in peace sister.”
She was a resident of Clinton and formerly lived in Union.
She was a soccer star at New Jersey City University. Caseres holds the collegiate record for most goals scored - for both men and women - in the state of New Jersey during a four-year career at Rutgers/Newark and NJCU where she majored in criminal justice. She was a two-time Academic All-American and was selected to the national All-American Division Three soccer team.
She finished her soccer career with 100 goals and 42 assists.