August 15, 2023
WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)– An Affidavit of Probable Cause and Complaint Warrant obtained through an OPRA Request by MidJersey.news has shed some light on the recent murder of Elaine Murray in West Windsor, New Jersey. Several charges have been filed against Denzel Whitmore of Hamilton Township, NJ for murder, burglary and tampering with evidence. According to the affidavit he drove to Maryland, flew to Florida and back and turned himself in at Hamilton Police Department after seeing a news article of the murder.
According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause: “On Wednesday, August 2, 2023, at approximately 8:08 p.m., the West Windsor Police Communications received a call for service from a concerned neighbor residing at 33 Galston Drive, requesting officer check the welfare of the resident at 35 Galston Drive identified as Elaine Murray, who resides alone at said address. The neighbor stated she speaks with Murray daily and had not heard from her in several days and began observing the mail piling up. The neighbor went next door prior to contacting West Windsor Police and observed a broken ground level window leading to the basement with traces of blood on the glass and a pulled back screen on a first-floor front window.”
“Upon West Windsor Police arrival, after attempts were made to contact the resident to no avail, they made entry into the residence via an unlocked open front door. While checking the residence for Murray, numerous drops of blood were located throughout the residence. Upon entering the second floor of the residence, Murray was located deceased, lying prone, with obvious signs of injuries about her face. She was bleeding from the back of her head, blood coming from her ears, eyes and mouth and sustained a skin tear on her right arm. Murray additionally had bruising around both of her eyes and blood on her nose.”
Prior to the incident on July 31, 2023, Hamilton Police Division received a report for a missing suicidal male identified as Denzel Whitmore who resides with his mother in Hamilton Township.
Denzel Whitmore’s mother stated that, her son came home at 5:24 a.m. on 7/31/23 and stated he had “killed someone last night.” She stated he then went to bed and she left for school without further conversation. Prior to calling the police at 4:32 p.m., the mother stated that, “Whitmore returned to the residence and began crying. She stated Whitmore told her he was “going on the run” because he broke into a house through possibly a window on the previous evening and strangled an unknown white female. Adams further stated Whitmore believed he had broken the female’s trachea because blood was coming from her mouth. She stated Whitmore began searching the news websites but could not find a report of the incident. Whitmore claimed to be highly intoxicated at the time of the incident and believed it may have occurred in East Windsor. Whitmore told Adams he could not live with the guilt and was going to harm himself. She further recalled that Whitmore had multiple cuts on his right hand that coincided with his story of breaking into a house, possibly through a window.”
She became concerned when Whitmore left the house in his vehicle and began texting her that he was sorry and that he would miss her.
Whitmore and his vehicle were entered NCIC as missing endangered by Hamilton Polie. A check with local law enforcement agencies for any type of burglary or assaults report returned negative results at the time.
The affidavit states Whitmore’s phone was located in Aberdeen, Maryland.
“Hamilton Police contacted Harford County Sheriff’s office which covers that area and requested assistance in locating Whitmore. Deputies were advised of his suicidal statements to Adams and his account of breaking into a residence and killing someone while intoxicated. Deputies located Whitmore in the parking lot of Fairfield Inn & Suites sitting in the driver’s seat of his Gray 2016 Honda Accord”
“Deputies observed Whitmore to have Band Aids on his right hand and scratches and lacerations on his right forearm. Whitmore could not recall when asked by Deputies how he received the wounds. Deputies received consent to search Whitmore’s vehicle and located a fixed blade knife with blood on the handle which was seized. Additionally, two loaded Glock magazines, 9mm and .357 ammunition were also found inside the vehicle however no firearm was located. Whitmore did not appear suicidal while speaking with Deputies and was released at that time.”
On August 3, 2023, police executed a search warrant at 35 Galston Drive in West Windsor. “During the search, the body of Elaine Murray was turned over to the Middlesex County medical examiner for autopsy. Search revealed a suspect entered the residence by breaking a glass window on the right side of the basement and entered into the basement. Blood, presumed to belong to the suspect, was observed on the broken glass. A blood trail lead up the stairs to the first floor. More blood was located on the victim’s purse and wallet, in the living room on the first floor. Upstairs, on the second story, the victim was located laying face up on the floor in the doorway to her office at the top of the stairs. There was further evidence of a blood trail on the stairs leading up to the victim. In the victim’s bedroom, blood was located on the floor, which included bloody shoe imprints. The sheets on the victims bed were removed and one memory foam pillow with distinct diagonal line patterns was located. Additional, a pillow covering with a floral pattern and blood stains was located.”
On August 3, 2023, concerned citizens contacted Hamilton Police to report a “body” in the waterway known as Crosswicks Creek. This body of water is located near the residence of the suspect, Denzel Whitmore, on Zachary Lane. The alleged body in the water that was reported was investigated and determined to be a trash bag containing a blue plastic tarp. Within the tarp, police located blood stained sheets, a blood stained pillow, and other items of evidential value. The blood stained pillow specifically was similar to the pillow located at 35 Galston Dr., in that it was memory foam and had diagonal line patterns. Also within the tarp was located a pillow covering with the floral decorative pattern, according to the affidavit.
On August 3, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. Denzel Whitmore and his mother arrived unannounced at the Hamilton Police Department. Whitmore was placed under arrest at that time, and his cellular phone was seized as evidence. Charges were authorized by AP Laura Kotarba against Whitmore for Murder, Felony Murder, Burglary, and Tampering with Evidence.
The mother was interviewed by Hamilton Police on August 3, 2023, and she stated in the affidavit that “she told Denzel Whitmore he needed to come home and he agreed to, and that he flew back from Florida to where he had left his car in Maryland and then drove back to his residence in Hamilton Twp., where he arrived today.”
“He told her that he saw a news article regarding the murder of Elain Murray and knew that he had actually committed that crime.” She decided to drive Denzel Whitmore to Hamilton Police Department so he could turn himself in.
Homicide Taskforce detectives attempted to conduct an interview with Denzel Whitmore, but he declined to provide a statement. Subsequently, Denzel Whitmore was processed for his arrest.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Denzel Whitmore, Hamilton Township, NJ