July 14, 2022
SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka announced today a suspect has been identified and charged in a Zoom attack on a virtual memorial service for a South Brunswick High School student in February of 2021. The memorial service was being held for 17 year old Emily Murillo who tragically died in January of 2021. Due to Covid, the memorial service was broadcasted virtually. During the service, an unknown person entered the Zoom and threatened to blow up the funeral home and make the casket turn to ashes. “It was unspeakable to us that while family and friends were mourning the loss of this young girl, someone would look to threaten them,” said Chief Hayducka. Investigators never gave up in their search for the suspect. The case required numerous court orders, interaction with a variety of social media platforms, and partnering with state and federal law enforcement. “I told all the officers involved that we will never stop until we track down every lead. It took almost 18 months, but we got him,” said Chief Hayducka.
The suspect is a juvenile from North Jersey. He faces a 2nd degree charge of terroristic threats, a 3rd degree charge of false public alarm, and a 4th degree charge of cyber harassment. The charges were elevated because the threat was made during the state of emergency from the Covid pandemic.
South Brunswick Police thanked the Middlesex County Prosecutors Office, the New Jersey State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and law enforcement agencies in Connecticut and North Jersey for their assistance in the investigation.
The memorial service was being held for 17 year old Emily Murillo who tragically died in January of 2021.
On January 29th, our dear friends lost their beautiful 17-year-old daughter, Emily Murillo, in a tragic car accident. For those fortunate enough to have really known Emmy, you know how deeply we will miss her bright smile and sweet, sweet soul.
From chasing frogs near the creek when she attended Brunswick Acres Elementary to her two dogs and two geckos, Emmy always had a way with, and a love for, animals. She was determined to find a job working with them after graduating from South Brunswick High School this June, but she’s been taken from us far too soon.
Emily was a lifelong resident of South Brunswick and will be missed most deeply by her sister Kaylee, step brothers Dominic and Vincent, mom and stepfather Erin and Joe Popolo and her father, Oscar Murillo. Kaylee graduated from SBHS in 2017. Erin worked for years for the South Brunswick Board of Ed, and Oscar currently works at Deans Elementary School. Joe is a retired firefighter and is now a fire subcode official. They are the kind of people who help make this community great.
We know her family’s pain too well, and we know how much the kindness of friends, family, the community and even strangers have helped us, so we’re creating this GoFundMe page in the hope that Emmy’s wonderful family can know this comfort.