NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Prosecutors announced that the man who they say shot and killed Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour has been extradited from Virginia to Middlesex County, New Jersey, where he will be tried for murder.

After nearly two months in Virginia’s Chesapeake Correctional Center, the alleged killer was transported to the Garden State on July 27. He is now lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center in North Brunswick.

Law enforcement authorities held a rare press conference on May 30, where Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolonda Ciccone first announced the arrest of the man, who had ties to New Jersey and appeared to be acquainted with Dwumfour through religious institutions.

The February 1 slaying of the popular political newcomer sent shockwaves throughout the Sayreville community, garnering national media attention, fueling conspiracy theories, and confounding observers eager to learn the cause of the crime.

After nearly four months of investigation, Ciccone identified Rashid Ali Bynum, a 28-year-old resident of Portsmouth, Virginia, as Dwumfour’s killer, after tracking his mobile phone location, his rental car, and his internet search history, as well as collecting statements from witnesses and surveillance camera recordings.

Bynum was arrested at 10:45am on May 30 in Chesapeake, Virginia, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO). Ciccone said police successfully retrieved the murder weapon at a house in Smithfield, Virginia, where Bynum allegedly returned after the killing.

According to the prosecutor, location data shows a mobile phone associated with Bynum making its way from Virginia to New Jersey, and then back immediately after the murder.

Ciccone also cited EZPass records, showing a white Hyundai Elantra with Virginia license plates passing through tolls in sync with the phone. License plate readers also captured the same vehicle in and around Woodbridge, Linden, and Newark on the day of the murder.

That evening, authorities say a white Hyundai was observed unoccupied in Dwumfour’s neighborhood, near the scene of the crime, where a witness said they saw it “suspiciously parked” in the area of Gondek Drive.

Eunice Dwumfour was remembered fondly at a large memorial service.

Before her untimely death, Dwumfour served as a pastor at the Champions Royal Assembly, an African Church with a presence in Newark. She also pulled off an impressive electoral upset to gain a seat on the Sayreville Borough Council in the November 2021 election.

The young mother and her close friend Christian Onuoaha both joined the Council in 2022, creating unusual bipartisan alliances against the establishment.

She was still serving in her first term when her life was taken.

Dwumfour had recently married a Nigerian pastor named Peter Ezechukwu, also known as Eze Kings. He was in Nigeria when Dwumfour was murdered at approximately 7:22pm on February 1.

Police reportedly told the New York Post that, moments before the shots rang out, the killer had been seen conversing with Dwumfour, who was behind the wheel of a sport utility vehicle that rolled downhill and crashed after she was shot.

“This was a very complex, extensive case, with painstaking policework every single moment until today, and it will continue after today,” said Ciccone.

“The murder has shaken the community, and no arrest will bring back the late Councilwoman. However, I do trust that justice will be found through the criminal justice process.”

Ciccone did not take questions.

Nevertheless, News12 New Jersey reporter Alex Zdan lobbed several questions at Ciccone as she silently left the meeting room in downtown New Brunswick.

“What was the motive in the case?” shouted Zdan. “Why did he kill her? Do you know? Are you still investigating? Are there any other suspects at-large?”

Two months later, prosecutors still haven’t explained what they believe the motive was.

Under New Jersey’s new system for pretrial detention, commonly referred to as “bail reform,” an attorney for Bynum can make the case to a Superior Court judge in a detention hearing if they want him to be released. Otherwise, he will be detained pending his trial.

That proceeding, where prosecutors may be asked to prove probable cause and make the case why Bynum should remain behind bars through his trial, could take place soon and provide new insights into various aspects of the case, including the question of motive.

According to the New Jersey Globe, Bynum previously lived in Sayreville and has outstanding warrants for failure to appear on four summonses connected to a June 2019 traffic stop in Cranbury.

Other media outlets interviewed people who confirmed Bynum and Dwumfour knew each other through church work.

Onuoha, Dwumfour’s friend and running mate, said Dwumfour initially met Bynum during her missionary work in Virginia five or six years ago.

“To see that someone would be so unreasonable to express such a rage, a hatred to sneak life out of a mother – it’s very painful. In the context of Mr. Bynum, or anyone who comes to church, it’s not always folks who are in the best place in their life,” Onuoha told PIX11.

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin speaking in New Brunswick.

At the May 30 announcement, Ciccone was joined by Attorney General Matthew Platkin, who made brief remarks expressing condolences to the Dwumfour family at the top of the ten-minute event at the Middlesex County Administration Building.

“Too often we’re talking about victims of gun violence, senseless acts of gun violence,” said Platkin, who also commended Ciccone and her team.

“The work that’s been done… is extraordinary. No stone was left unturned,” said Platkin.

A July 28 statement from the MCPO indicated the investigation was still “active and ongoing” and that anyone with information or surveillance footage is asked to call Detective Michelle Coppola at 732-745-3477.

Ciccone also said the alleged killer’s phone number was located in the contacts of Dwumfour’s phone, paired with the acronym FCF.

Authorities believe that abbreviation is short for Fire Congress Fellowship, an organization where Dwumfour and her Council colleague Onuoha have both served as Treasurer.

That organization apparently merged, or at least partnered with Champions Royal Assembly, an offshoot of a megachurch run by Nigerian televangelist Joshua Iginla.

According to a now-removed LinkedIn profile for Dwumfour, she held the titles of Professional Scrum Master and Business Analyst with “Fire Congress International.”

Court personnel have not confirmed a date and time for the detention hearing, which will likely be of great interest to the news media and the general public.

Ciccone’s relationship with the press has been strained over this case, after her office pre-emptively sued media outlets to avoid producing information and records in response to Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests.

Attorney CJ Griffin was quoted as saying the MCPO’s litigation was “frivolous” in an article published by one of the publications participating in the case.

While Ciccone cited the privacy of the family in attempting to justify the prosecutorial overreach, she admitted her office had not consulted the family about their wishes, and quickly backed off of the power grab, dropping their motion before the court.

Shortly after the May 30 press conference, former Assemblyman Jon Wisniewski spoke on the family’s behalf to a gaggle of reporters gathered across the street in front of New Brunswick’s downtown post office.

While the law enforcement authorities took no questions, that was about all Wisniewski did for 12 minutes or more.

“They’ve been praying that there is some breakthrough in this case, and their prayers were answered today,” said Wisniewski, who added the family still wants to know why Eunice Dwumfour was targeted.

Wisniewski was asked if the crime was connected to her position as a Councilwoman.

“It’s hard to say,” said Wisniewski. “I can’t imagine the connection between somebody she knew from church and her position on Council.”

Wisniewski said Dwumfour’s father and sister were present, along with their pastor. They were told exactly the same information that authorities then shared with the public, he said.

None of them recognized the name of the accused killer, or his face, according to Wisniewski, who said it was possible that others in the family would recognize him.

“For them, there are even more questions today than there were before.”

Governor Phil Murphy attended an event the morning after Dwumfour was killed, acknowledging the tragedy in his remarks, and noting that neither he nor Essex County’s Executive could not remember the last time such a tragedy had occurred.

“I asked Joe [Divincenzo] if he could remember the last elected official that has been shot and killed and we can’t remember who that is,” said Murphy.

Nearly six months after the murder, the case continues to spark conversation and speculation.

But just one week after Dwumfour was killed, another elected Republican municipal official was murdered with a gun in Somerset County, about 15 miles away from Sayreville.

On February 8, Milford Councilman Russell Heller, was shot and killed by a former co-worker at a PSE&G facility in Somerset. Some jumped to conclusions that it was political, perhaps even connected to Dwumfour’s murder.

But that case was quickly solved, and the alleged perpetrator was found dead in the parking lot of a nearby baseball stadium. It did not appear to be connected to Heller’s Council position, as the accused was a disgruntled former employee supervised by Heller at PSE&G.

However, with no clear motive on the record in the Dwumfour case, many observers have continued to speculate as to what might have led to her murder.

Dwumfour was supportive of funding a borough investigation of potential misconduct by the disgraced former Chairman of the Sayreville Democratic Party, Thomas Pollando.

Ciccone’s office had arrested Pollando in August 2022 and charged him with taking bribes from the owners of a local strip club that was facing its own criminal investigation.

It was also revealed that police union leader David Sivilli sent a message to Mayor Victoria Kilpatrick on January 2 asking Dwumfour not be re-appointed as public safety liason, but Kilpatrick still supported her with a tie-breaking vote.

On February 28, the Borough Council voted 4-2 to fill the vacancy created by Dwumfour’s death with a familiar face: the borough’s recently-retired police chief, John Zebrowski.

Editor at New Brunswick Today | 732-993-9697 | | Website

Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.

Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.