Updated: Police Continue Investigation Into Dead Body Found On Phillips Road

The area on Phillips Road in which a dead body was found on July 1.

Update: Authorities have identified the dead man as 26-year-old Darren Fordham, Jr.

Police said Fordham suffered multiple gunshot wounds, but would not disclose the location of those wounds “to maintain the integrity of the investigation,” according to a press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office. The shooting was not random, the release said, although police still do not have a motive.

Investigators are focusing on the time frame of 1 a.m. on June 30, 2018, within the area of Phillips Road, adjacent to the property line of the Pine Grove School, according to the release. Anyone who may have seen suspicious activity then is asked to contact investigators by the methods listed at the end of the story,

Original Story: Township and county investigators are looking into what happened to a man whose body was found July 1 in a wooded on Phillips Road, near the Pine Grove Manor Elementary School.

According to a press release from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, township police received a call at about 8:23 p.m. that the body had been found.

Detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes and Crime Scene Units, the Franklin Township Police Department, and medical investigators from the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office responded to conduct the investigation, according to the release.  An autopsy will be performed on the body to determine the cause and manner of death, along with a positive identification pending next-of-kin notification, according to the release.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told the Franklin Reporter & Advocate that the man may have been killed elsewhere and his body dumped on Phillips. The source also said that the body apparently had been in the spot for several days before being discovered, and that there were three gunshot wounds to the back of the man’s head.

The source also said that identification of the body was made possible by tattoos on it.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office Major Crimes Unit at (908) 231-7100, or the Franklin Township Police Department at (732) 873-5533 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ.

Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or at www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.


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