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Community Comes To Grips With New Brunswick Death Of Former RU Student

T-shirt idea suggested on the memorial page
T-shirt idea suggested on the memorial page

Rutgers University students, New Brunswick residents and others are struggling to come to grips with the death of a 22-year-old Kean University student who was found in the backyard of a city residence after he apparently had been fatally beaten. 

William R. McCaw, 22, a native of Hillsborough whose family later moved to Gallatin, Tenn., was found outside the home on Hartwell Street after an unidentified neighbor called police on Feb. 15 at 10:26 a.m., according to Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Anthony A. Caputo, director of the New Brunswick Police Department.

One man, Dennis Murphy, created a memorial fund for McCaw. Memorials and fund-raisers have been arranged in Tennessee, his home state, and one in New Jersey on gofundme.com: http://www.gofundme.com/6y3dgw.

Matthew Long, a junior at Rutgers University, attended social events with "Billy" McCaw during his freshman year and still remained close prior to his death

"We hung out mainly freshman year, but when we would see each other around Rutgers, we would always stop and chat,” he said.

On Feb. 19, Long attended a candlelight vigil for McCaw. “Basically, a few people spoke and shared stories to remember Billy.  I’d say around 200 people were there," he said. 

Billy’s own father attended and spoke to the crowd, he said.

A Facebook group, meanwhile, has been set up in memory of McCaw: https://www.facebook.com/groups/789018681126175/

McCaw's dad posted this on the FB group in response to the candlelight vigil ceremony

“Mary and I want to thank all who came out to the vigil for Billy last night. The moments of remembrance and humor did so, so much for our family. To know that our son and brother was so loved by so many is a tremendous blessing to our family. We love you all and pray for your comfort as well during this devastating time. God Bless you, Bob and Mary McCaw”

McCaw was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:45 a.m. While the results of an autopsy by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office were not immediately available, a preliminary investigation determined that the victim suffered blunt force trauma. 

The investigation by Detective Ronoldy Martinez of the New Brunswick Police Department and Investigator Michael Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that McCaw previously attended Rutgers University and would return to New Brunswick to visit friends. It also was determined that the victim had no known connection to the residents of the property where his body was discovered.

No arrests have been made, but the investigation is active and is continuing.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Martinez of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732) 745-5217, extension 6028, or Investigator Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4018.

A man who said he was a roommate of William McCaw posted a video of the victim playing darts: https://vine.co/v/b0jagpPBXYq

The New York Post reported there were foot tracks from another house. Residents cannot be contacted. “He had wounds on his hands,” said McCarthy. “I think it was a fight gone wrong.” http://nypost.com/2014/02/16/nj-college-student-found-beaten-to-death/

Police haven't said what McCaw was doing there, but the student's uncle in Tennessee told News 12 New Jersey that McCaw was at a Valentine's Day party and was walking to another one when he was attacked.

The Kean University student newspaper "The Tower" had no results about his death when "McCaw" was searched on Thursday: http://www.keantower.com/ -

A New York Post source said he had wounds on his hands, looked like a fight gone wrong http://nypost.com/2014/02/16/nj-college-student-found-beaten-to-death/

Rutgers Pi Kappa Phi, meanwhile, wrote a letter expressing grief, and posted a photo in memory.

Contributors to this story included: Meaghan Alexander, Vittoria Contuzzi, Mark Doyle, Azadeh Dehghan, Jessica Harding, Cassie Inacio, Josh Ingram, Justin Kirkland, Connie Lee, Jalana Middlebrooks, Alex Misthos, Sabrina Restivo, Brenda Stolyar, Cassie Campbell.

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