Wiliam Fitzsimmons, 85, Dies After Blunt Force Injuries He Received During May 16 Belleville Home Invasion
ESSEX COUNTY, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced
today that William Fitzsimmons, 85, of Belleville died yesterday of injuries he received during a home invasion of his Cedar Hill Avenue residence.
Fitzsimmons had been hospitalized since the May 16 robbery, during which he suffered blunt force trauma.
According to a report in the Belleville Times, Fitzsimmons had told police that he had heard a knock at his door at about 7pm that Saturday evening. Apparently, as he opened the door he was then struck from behind by someone already inside of his house. He was then tied up while the intruder reportedly cut his phone lines, ransacked the house, stole costume jewelry and then fled the scene.
It's believed that after the robber left, Fitzsimmons went outside and then fell unconscious. The next morning at about 10am, two persons found Fitzsimmons outside his home; his face was "bloody, bruised and swollen." They contacted Belleville Police who began their investigation.
Belleville Police later charged Ray Cooley, 25, of Nutley, with attempted murder, burglary and kidnapping following Fitzsimmon's assault and those charges will likely be upgraded. Cooley reportedly admitted to police his role in the incident and stated that he had shoveled snow at Fitzsimmons' house over the winter. He is suspected of entering Fitzsimmon's home through an unlocked door.
The Essex County Prosecutor's Office along with the Belleville Police Department are continuing to investigate the incident.