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Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on May 10, 2024, the Honorable Kimarie Rahill, J.S.C., sentenced Sherry Lee Heffernan, 57, of Landenberg, Pennsylvania, to two consecutive life sentences in New Jersey State Prison in connection with the murders of John Enders and Francois Pitoy in Surf City on or about September 29, 2021.


Heffernan was found guilty of the aforementioned charges on March 1, 2024, following a nearly four week-long jury trial before Judge Rahill.


On October 3, 2021, at approximately 4:00 p.m., Officers from the Surf City Police Department responded to a residence on North 7th Street to conduct a welfare check upon the residents.  When they arrived, Officers located the bodies of John Enders, 87, of Surf City, and Francoise Pitoy, 75, of Manchester; it was readily apparent that both victims were already deceased.  On October 4, 2021, the Ocean County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination of Mr. Enders and determined the cause of his death to be multiple stab wounds with severance of the right carotid artery and blunt force trauma; the manner of death was ruled to be a homicide.  A post-mortem examination of Ms. Pitoy performed on October 5, 2021 determined the cause of her death to be multiple stab wounds as well as a gunshot wound to the face; the manner of her death was likewise ruled a homicide.  Based upon the gunshot wound to Ms. Pitoy, the Medical Examiner performed an additional examination of Mr. Enders and found that he had also suffered a gunshot wound to the face.


An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Surf City Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that the victims were involved in a dating relationship, and that Mr. Enders was the primary owner of the residence.  Ms. Pitoy stayed with him at the residence regularly. The cooperative investigation ultimately determined that Heffernan – Mr. Enders’ daughter – was responsible for the deaths of both Mr. Enders and Ms. Pitoy.


On October 4, 2021, Heffernan was taken into custody by the Pennsylvania State Police at her residence in Landenberg, Pennsylvania.  On October 20, 2021, Heffernan was returned to New Jersey, and has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since that date.


“This defendant will spend the rest of her life in prison.  This is an appropriate sentence and we are hopeful that this brings some measure of closure to the family and friends of John and Francois,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.


Prosecutor Billhimer applauds the outstanding efforts of Chief Trial Attorney Michael Weatherstone and Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman, who ably and skillfully tried the case on behalf of the State.  The Prosecutor likewise extends his gratitude to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Economic Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Intelligence Squad, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Surf City Police Department, Long Beach Township Police Department, Stafford Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ocean County Motor Vehicle Services, Pennsylvania State Police, Collegeville (Pennsylvania) Police Department, Horsham Township (Pennsylvania) Police Department, Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) District Attorney’s Office, Chester County (Pennsylvania) District Attorney’s Office, Maryland State Police, and North East (Maryland) Police Department, for their combined and collective efforts investigating and solving these heinous and senseless crimes – ultimately resulting in Heffernan’s guilty verdicts, and now her lengthy state prison sentence.