William McCaw, University student, 22, found ‘fatally beaten’ in strangers’ New Jersey backyard
- William McCaw, 22, was found on Saturday morning dead in a New Jersey backyard
- Preliminary investigation indicates he died of blunt force trauma, likely from a vicious beating
- McCaw did not know the residents of the where he was found
- He was a Kean University student
- No arrests have yet been made
A 22-year-old Kean University student was found fatally beaten in the backyard of a New Brunswick, NJ residence on Saturday morning, authorities said today.
William McCaw, of Gallatin, Tenn., was pronounced dead at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, according to a news release from the office of Middlesex County prosecutor Andrew Carey. An unidentified neighbor had called police at 10:26 that morning after the body was found in the yard.
Autopsy results were not immediately available, but authorities believe that McCaw suffered blunt force trauma. McCaw was a former Rutgers student who would often come to New Brunswick to visit friends, authorities said.
Friends described McCaw as a laid-back Rutgers University sports fan,
According to a story on nj.com, McCaw was a native of Hillsborough, NJ. McCaw moved to Gallantin, Tenn., with his family several years ago, according to friends. He returned to New Jersey four years ago to attend Rutgers, then transferred to Kean University in Union in his senior year in order to pursue his dream of playing soccer in college, said Mike Banfield, a Hillsborough resident whose son was good friends with McCaw.
Kean University Police Director Adam Shubsda confirmed McCaw was attending school there but did not have any further information about the 22-year-old.
“The entire Kean community extends our condolences to the family and friends of William McCaw,” he said.
His body was found behind a home on Hartwell Street. Authorities say McCaw had no known connection to the residents of the home. No arrests have been made, Carey’s office said, but the investigation is “active and continuing.”
The residents of the house – Rutgers University students, according to neighbors – declined comment.
“It’s a pretty tough time,” one of the residents said as he left the house.
Antony Mason, who lives down the street, said that he woke up after a night shift at 3:30 on Saturday afternoon and saw authorities digging in the backyard. A Rutgers University student, Mason said the killing wouldn’t change his behavior at all; it’s not the first time violent crime has hit the area off-campus where Rutgers students live. He takes reasonable precautions, he said.
Mason’s friend and housemate, Josh Willner, a Rutgers senior, said the slaying “shakes you up a little bit.”
“It was unsettling that it happened on our street,” Willner said.
Willner and Mason said they didn’t personally know McCaw. Willner described the residents of 28 Hartwell St. as “normal.”
Mike Carroll, a Rutgers sophomore who lives on nearby Plum Street, said that after the killing, he won’t walk down Hartwell Street for awhile.
“I definitely feel not as safe as I used to,” he said.
Graham Lewis, a Rutgers student and a friend of McCaw, said he was “the kindest and nicest person in the world.”
“He would never hurt a soul and was always smiling,” Lewis said in an email. “He loved Rutgers more than he loved his own friends sometimes.”
According to McCaw’s Facebook page, he studied accounting at Rutgers.
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.
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