by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
UPDATED: Wednesday, Dec. 7
Arrest Made in Murder of Sarah Butler of Montclair
Yesterday, Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, age 20, of Orange was arrested and charged with one count of murder and one count of disturbing of human remains.
An autopsy determined that Butler died as a result of compression of the neck and her death was ruled a homicide. An investigation by the Prosecutor’s Homicide Task Force led to Wheeler-
Weaver being arrested last night.
The suspect's bail has been set at $1million; he'll be arraigned in Essex County Superior Court at a later date.
MONTCLAIR, NJ - The body of Sarah Butler, 20, of Montclair, was found Thursday, Dec. 1, in Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange. Montclair Police Chief Todd Conforti announced that Butler's remains were found earlier in the day.
Butler's family had reported her missing two days before Thanksgiving on Tuesday, Nov. 23, when they were unable to reach her by phone. Family friends report that Butler was "very close" to her family.
Essex County's Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly reported that Butler's remains were discovered at about 11:30am Thursday morning while a team of county and municipal investigators, including K9s, were searching in an area of the Reservation.
The New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner’s Office today announced that Butler's death was determined by autopsy to have been a homidice and that her body was placed in the Reservation.
The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Prosecutor's Homicide Task Force Tips Line at 877-847-7432 . Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura’s Crime Stoppers Program is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the murder.
No further information is available at this time.
ESSEX COUNTY, NJ - On Thursday, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced that countywide homicides are up approximately 31 percent. This week alone, 5 homicides were reported over a 24-hour period in Newark, and East Orange has a total of eight more homicides than it did at this time last year.
Eight-Month Homicide Comparison Increase Totals
Increases in Essex County Homicides January to August, by year
Recent Newark Homicides
The Newark Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force are investigating five reportedly unrelated homicides that occurred this week over a two-day period in Newark:
The investigations into all five incidents are active and ongoing.