Prosecutors say Tyrita Julius knew one of her killers and it wasn’t the first time “her friend” had tried to kill her.
On August 16th, authorities arrested Jennifer Sweeney 33, of Tinton Falls, and Andre Harris 32, of Long Branch of the death of 41-year-old Linden, NJ woman who went missing in March.
Authorities say in March, Sweeney had supposedly dropped Julius off at the Long Branch train station, the last time anyone ever saw her. But Monmouth and Union County prosecutors said that not only had Sweeney lied about that, she and Harris had killed Julius and secreted away her body.
And less than four months earlier, in November 2015, Harris and Sweeney had tried to murder Julius, shooting her eight times in the torso and also grazing her 15-year-old daughter with bullets, prosecutors said.
“In a nutshell, our investigation revealed that Sweeney and Harris murdered Tyrita in the area of Long Branch, New Jersey, and buried her body in the backyard at 228 Joline Ave.,” Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said Aug. 17 at a press event. “This was known to be Harris’ residence.”
Prosecutors say Tyrita Julius body was retrieved from Harris’ Long Branch residence in the backyard.
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Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said that police in Linden had found Julius, mangled by gunfire but alive, in a Toyota Camry that had run into a utility pole on Middlesex Street in Linden around 7:15 p.m. on Nov. 24, 2015.
Julius’ 15-year-old daughter was with her but suffered only minor graze wounds, Park said.
For that shooting, Sweeney and Harris are facing two counts each of attempted murder, one of conspiracy and two second-degree weapons charges, Park said.
Prosecutors say they are not sure how much Julius knew Sweeney’s involvement in the shooting but continued to maintain a friendship with her. She would spend her final day with Sweeney in April 2016 in the areas of Tinton Falls and Long Branch.
Julius was a single mother with two children, a son and a daughter, a friend said told the app.com.
In April, news surfaced of family members and law enforcement officials pleading to the public for information on her whereabouts, passing out fliers throughout the region and offering and $15,000 reward for information on her whereabouts.
An autopsy is still pending so Juluis’ cause of death is still unknown.
Each bail is set to $1.5 million. In a court of law, each are innocent until proven guilty.
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