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A Black woman who was murdered while housesitting for a friend in southern New Jersey last week was remembered fondly by family and friends during a vigil held Thursday night. Shawneeq Carter was found dead by her five-year-old son after she was apparently beaten to death in a Woodbury home on Friday, NJ,.com reported.

“She was a loving person, a beautiful spirit,” Carter’s cousin Forest Cooper said during the vigil. “She was just an upbeat person who was full of life.”

Details surrounding the killing in the suburban Philadelphia town were scarce, with police keeping its investigation under wraps and offering little information aside from the cause of death, officially listed as blunt force trauma, according to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office. A week after the body of Carter, 26, was found, police still had not named a suspect or a motive.

Neighbors living near the house where Carter was found dead said they were scared, but police said there is no indication of future “danger to the community.”

The death has left Carter’s son emotionally shaken and reportedly experiencing suicidal thoughts so he can be reunited with his mother.

“He’s traumatized. He keeps asking where his mom his,”Golden Ike, Carter’s best friend since they were kids, told at Thursday nights vigil. “Nobody knows what to tell him.”

Carter’s killing bore slight similarities to that of another young Black woman who was found dead earlier this month. The frozen body of teenager Kenneka Jenkins was found in a walk-in storage freezer in a suburban Chicago hotel during the early hours of Sept. 9. Each death has became high profile, could not be explained immediately and didn’t have a prime suspect or a motive.

There was another similarity that is routinely found when investigating the deaths of Black people: Family and friends of both women have not been given any substantial answers since the women were killed.

“She was just a great person and she didn’t deserve this,” Carter’s friend Ike said. “She was amazing. I want to know who did this to her. I want to know who did this to my friend.”


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Family Demands Answers After Black Mother Killed While Housesitting  was originally published on