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Ryan Ross, Asbury Park Press

WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania — The suspect accused of killing her father and his girlfriend at a Long Beach Island residence said she is being framed after leaving a Pennsylvania court Friday, according to a Pennsylvania newspaper.  

Sherry Lee Heffernan, 55, of Landenberg, Pennsylvania, has been charged with two counts of murder and two weapon offenses for the fatal stabbing of her father, John Enders, 87, and his girlfriend Francoise Pitoy, 75, at his Surf City home.

After waiving extradition at the Chester County Court of Common Pleas in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Heffernan told a reporter that she is not guilty and is being framed, according to the Daily Local News of West Chester.a

She also told a judge in court that she would have surrendered herself in New Jersey if she had known she was wanted for something, the newspaper reported.

Stephen Dodd, Heffernan’s public defender in Pennsylvania, did not respond to a request for comment.  

Previous story: Daughter in LBI double homicide was removed from father’s will, court documents say

How we got here

Police found the bodies of Enders and Pitoy at a North Seventh Street home in Surf City while conducting a welfare check on Sunday, Oct. 3, requested by Pitoy’s daughter. Both victims had multiple stab wounds as well as multiple injuries consistent with blunt force trauma. They were pronounced dead on the scene, authorities said.  

Heffernan was arrested at her residence last Tuesday after police interviewed her son as well as her father’s neighbors and found evidence that put her at the scene of the crime, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by the Asbury Park Press.

A resident of North Seventh Street who was friends with the couple told police Heffernan regularly had disagreements with her father and that she was not included in his will after it was amended last month, according to the affidavit. The neighbor added that Heffernan is a real estate agent, and Enders chose a different agent to sell his house, which had a pending sale at a price of $1,999,000.

Detectives obtained surveillance footage of Heffernan’s 2003 Ford Winnebago RV traveling to and from Long Beach Island and parking outside her father’s North Seventh Street residence during the early morning hours of Sept. 29. Pennsylvania State Police then interviewed her son, who revealed more details about the family conflict and his mother’s plot, according to the affidavit.

He told authorities that he and his mother thought Pitoy was a “gold digger” and suspected that was the reason Enders was selling the house, the affidavit states. He then revealed that his mom traveled to LBI in her RV either the previous Tuesday or Wednesday and had been staying up late every night because she was thinking about how she “needed to get something done,” per the affidavit.  

Related: Authorities identify victims of fatal ‘targeted attack’ in LBI home

Heffernan did not tell her son what the purpose of the trip was, the affidavit said, but mentioned that she stopped by her father’s house.

After obtaining a search warrant for Heffernan’s RV, detectives found dried blood on the carpet of the vehicle before getting an arrest warrant and apprehending her on Tuesday.

Heffernan will have to face criminal charges in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, before coming to New Jersey, according to the Daily Local News. She was arrested and charged with retail theft and receiving stolen property in 2019, but failed to appear in court, the newspaper reported.

Nicolas Fernandes is the early morning breaking news reporter. A lifelong New Jersey resident, he has previously worked as a features writer and sports reporter. Contact him at 732-540-4401 or [email protected]

Source: Asbury Park

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