ORANGE, NJ — According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, a homicide occurred in Orange on Mother’s Day, although an official press release about the incident was not issued to the media.
The ECPO handles all homicides in Essex County, regardless of individual departmental jurisdiction, and normally works in conjunction with local law enforcement. Members of the county’s Homicide Major Crimes Task Force respond to all homicides, including the one that occurred Sunday, May 13, on the 100 Block of Oakwood Place in Orange.
“There may have been some confusion, because the victim did not die right away,” said ECPO Director of Public Information Katherine Carter on Tuesday, June 5. “The victim is Raymond White, 32, of Orange. He was shot at 1:13 p.m. and died at 10:06 p.m. on Mother’s Day.”
White’s death may be the first homicide in Orange this year. Last year, county officials said there were at least two homicides in the city, and Mayor Dwayne Warren’s administration made an announcement July 19, 2017 that stated, “violent crime in Orange has drastically declined compared to this time in 2016.”
In 2017, Davon Jones and Malcolm T. Ford were killed in Orange. Jones was shot and killed April 14, 2017, in Orange and “died from his injuries at University Hospital in Newark,” acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino said Sept. 19, 2017. Ford died Friday, Aug. 25, when he was shot and killed in the 200 block of Scotland Road in Orange.
County officials said Orange had eight homicides in 2016, including: 21-month-old Marcus Millien and his uncle, Morlens Milice, 21, on Thursday, Nov. 3; Davon Jones, 17, on Thursday, April 14; Jordan Bryan, 23, on April 18; Ahmed Cauthen, 39, on Wednesday, July 20; Wilmar Larose, 25, on Tuesday, July 26; cab driver Jonas Larose, 55, on Nov. 30; Joanne Brown, 33, on Oct. 22; and Robin West, 19, on Sept. 1.
Authorities believe Brown and West were the victims of Orange resident Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, who is accused of killing Sarah Butler, 20, of Montclair, and attempting to kill another, unidentified woman in 2016. Brown’s remains were discovered Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, inside a vacant building on Highland Avenue, a few houses from the mayor’s residence. West was killed inside a vacant house in Orange, which Wheeler-Weaver later allegedly set on fire. The body of Butler, a Jersey City University student, was found in Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange on Dec. 1, 2016.
These homicide numbers from 2016 and 2017 are those that the ECPO and OPD have publicly acknowledged.
According to Reggie Miller, coordinator of the Rutgers University Male Student Support Program at Orange Preparatory Academy, the official OPD and ECPO statistics aren’t telling the true tale about what’s really going on in Orange, and the Mother’s Day homicide is an example of this. He said he knew about the incident because he regularly talks to local children and adults.
“You know, you experience so many positive things growing up and living in Orange but, right now, that’s what Orange is known for, because of all these shootings and homicides. It’s so prevalent now that it’s weird. And that’s just the statistics speaking,” said Miller on Friday, June 1.