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Cold Cases

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Unsolved Crimes

Sharon Thor - Homicide

On October 26, 1982, at approximately 5:30 p.m., 15 year old Sharon Thor was preparing to leave her Franklin Township home for her weekly ballet dance lesson three miles away in Bound Brook when the home telephone rang. Sharon appeared to be pleased to hear from the caller. As soon as she hung up the phone she told her mother that she would be right back as she rushed to outside to the street. She climbed into the passenger side of a vehicle that had pulled up in front of her house, according to a child who had been playing in the front yard.

Three days later, at team of searchers found Sharon’s body discarded in a wooded are about a quarter-mile from her home.

Gary Butler - Homicide

On February 26, 1996 twenty-five year old Manville resident, Gary Butler was found dead in a retention pond on North Main St in Manville near the border of Bridgewater and the Raritan River. The cause of death as reported by the Regional Medical Examiners Office was multiple blunt force trauma. The investigation revealed that the victim had been at Perhach’s Bar on Main St. in Manville earlier in the evening on February 25th shooting pool with several of the bar’s regular patrons. After leaving the bar sometime after midnight he walked a friend home and then returned to the Chester House where he rented a room on the second floor. Sometime between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. the victim managed to travel to the town of Bound Brook. The investigation reveals that Butler was apparently returning to Manville from Bound Brook when he was assaulted.

Tamara Tignor - Homicide

At approximately 5:00 p.m. on November 4, 1997 the body of an unidentified white female was discovered lying on a dirt cul-de-sac off of Gilbride Rd. in the Township of Bridgewater, New Jersey. The victim was subsequently identified as twenty-three year-old Tamara Tignor a known drug user and prostitute who had recently been living in Newark, New Jersey. Tammy, as many people knew her, was also known to frequent the areas of Somerville, South Bound Brook, Plainfield, and Union Beach.

Due to the remoteness of where Tammy was found it is possible that the person(s) responsible for her death may have close ties to the area due to their familiarity with this location. There is also a strong possibility that Tamara was murdered at some other location and subsequently transported to the Gilbride Rd. area and disposed of from a vehicle.

Joseph Sass - Robbery/Homicide

On June 29, 2000 (Thursday) at approximately 9:20 P.M., 32 year-old Joseph Sass, a dedicated, well liked employee at the King George Exxon Gas Station, was working the late shift as he has done so many times in the past ten years. The gas station is located within feet of the entrance ramp to the well-traveled inter-state highway #78 and King George Road, in the upscale community of Bernards Township, Somerset County, New Jersey.

On the night of the robbery/homicide several witnesses reported that a black male subject approached the gas station on foot from the south side entrance (nearest to Route #78) and entered the vending machine area of the station. This suspect was further described as approximately 5’9” to 6’1” tall, thin build, dark complexion and between 20 to 30 years old.

Witnesses reported that the suspect male engaged in a brief conversation with the attendant about the vending machines taking dollar bills. The witnesses then reported that the suspect asked Sass for change at which time the attendant removed a large quantity of bills from his pocket. The suspect then produced a handgun and demanded that Sass give him all the money. After the attendant complied the suspect shot the victim in the head at point blank range. As Joseph Sass lie dying in a pool of blood the suspect walked briskly out of the station in the same direction as he entered moments earlier. Witnesses then observed a late model, dark colored commercial type van fleeing the area and proceeded west bound onto Route #78.

George R. Kavanaugh - Vehicular Homicide

On March 6, 2015 at approximately 9:27 p.m., 75 year old Somerville resident George R. Kavanaugh was found lying in the parking lot/sidewalk  of the Lincoln Hose Fire Company located on Warren Street in Somerville. Mr. Kavanaugh was struck by an unknown vehicle which left the scene prior to police arrival. Mr. Kavanaugh was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

A witness told investigating officers that a light colored sports utility vehicle was observed backing in the driveway of the firehouse and struck George Kavanaugh and then drove onto Warren Street and left the area. The investigation revealed that Mr. Kavanaugh had attended a gathering at the Lincoln Hose Fire Company that night and was leaving when he was struck by a vehicle in the parking lot.

Please contact Crimestoppers 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or if you have any information regarding the above unsolved crimes.