Authorities: Even Family Considered Persons Of Interest Until Killer Is Found

CLARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A murder mystery in the New Jersey suburbs has prosecutors trying to figure out who would want to kill an elderly woman whose family owned a successful safety company.

The gruesome murder in the quiet town of Clark has shaken neighbors.

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Investigators said Vera Pecoraro was found with her throat slit on her 74th birthday inside her home. The Union County prosecutor said he believes the person who killed her knew her, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported.

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“We do believe that she was targeted. This was not a random act. We do not believe that residents of Clark are in danger,” Prosecutor Ted Romankow said.

Investigators said Pecoraro’s son, Anthony, discovered her body on Saturday. The doors were locked from the inside and there were no signs of forced entry or robbery.

“We did not find that the house was in any way ransacked either, so that and some other evidence near the body led us to suspect it might have been a suicide,” Romankow said.

Further investigation, however, revealed the woman was murdered, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.

Maria Falzone lives several doors down.

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“Very nice, very private, but very nice. She spoke to you when she saw you,” Falzone said.

Neighbors said the last time they saw Pecoraro was on Thursday with some kind of moving trailer in front of the house moving stuff out of the garage.

The prosecutor said Pecoraro, a widow, was moving to the Jersey Shore. She and her two sons, Michael and Theodore, ran a big company called Traffic Safety Service. Investigators are trying to find out if she was retiring.

“That’s what we’ve been trying to get from sons, to get background on this. We haven’t been able to get that yet, which I might say has been a problem,” Romankow said.

On their website, Traffic Safety Service has a banner saying the company is saddened by the loss of its matriarch, but no one from the company would talk to CBS 2.

For now, the prosecutor said everyone is considered a person of interest — even family members, including three sons said to be cooperating — until they find the killer.

Investigators are asking neighbors or anyone who knew Pecoraro to contact them if they have any information.

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