Suspect Found in Murder of New Jersey Politician Eunice Dwumfour

by Xara Aziz
SOURCE: LinkedIn/Eunice K. Dwumfour

A suspect has been arrested and charged in the brutal killing of a young New Jersey councilwoman who was found shot dead while inside her vehicle in February.

Twenty-eight-year-old Rashid Ali Bynum was found in Chesapeake, Virginia and charged with first-degree murder, second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun and second-degree possession of a handgun for unlawful purpose in the killing of Eunice Dwumfour, 30, who was serving as a City Council member in Sayreville, New Jersey at the time of her death.

Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office

In a news conference Tuesday, Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said that the suspect awaits extradition to New Jersey. It is unknown whether he has an attorney and a presumed motive was not provided, although authorities believe the suspect and victim knew each other.

“A search of the victim’s phones revealed Bynum as a contact in Eunice Dwumfour’s phone with the acronym FCF,” Ciccone said. “FCF is believed to be an acronym for the Fire Congress Fellowship, a church the victim was previously affiliated with.”

Ciccone further stated that Bynum fit a witness description at the time of the victim’s death. Devices on the suspect’s phone revealed that he traveled to New Jersey from Virginia before Dwumfour was killed, then headed immediately back to Virginia after she died.

Search records also found Bynum was searching online for Dwumfour’s location, the area of Sayreville and “magazines compatible with a specific handgun,” Ciccone said.

Shine My Crown first reported on Dwumfour’s death days after her killing. She was a budding Republican politician who had just begun her political career and was currently serving her first term as a New Jersey councilwoman when she was found shot and dead in a vehicle.

At the time of her death, investigators said they were searching for a weapon in a wooded hill near the area where she was found. They discovered Dwumfour in a white vehicle that rolled down a hill and crashed into two cars.

“The fact that she was taken from us by a despicable criminal act makes this incident all the more horrifying,” said Victoria Kilpatrick, the mayor of Sayreville.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy also released a statement stating that he was “stunned” by the “act of gun violence,” and said that the victim “had already built a reputation as a committed member of the Borough Council who took her responsibility with the utmost diligence and seriousness.”

The single mother had just married late last year and was a business analyst and project manager who graduated from Newark Public Schools. She was awarded a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from William Paterson University in 2017, according to her LinkedIn page.

Dwumfour was considered “deeply faithful, self-made, self-motivated, driven and disciplined,” said Kennedy O’Brien, the former mayor of Sayreville who served in the role for 20 years. “She just had so much to give. It’s just an incredible loss.”

A local resident in the neighborhood where Dwumfour was found said she heard what appeared to be fireworks around the same time investigators believe the victim was murdered.

The shots were heard “two times, right after one another,” Alexandra Bryan told The New York Times. “Like five seconds apart.”

Dwumfour’s campaign manager, Karen Bailey Bebert, who also serves as the Sayreville Republican chair said that the victim was an “inspirational woman” who overcame challenges “with grit and a smile.”

Dwumfour “took on the challenge of this leadership position at a young age and she set a great example for others to follow: If you can see me, you can be me,” Bebert said.

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