Posted by: gmontealegre | July 8, 2013

Amber Wilson one year later – no arrests

Prosecutor appeals to witnesses in Linden cheerleader murder case: “do the right thing”

Tom Haydon/The Star-LedgerBy Tom Haydon/The Star-Ledger 
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on July 07, 2013 at 8:00 AM, updated July 07, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Grace and Park.jpgActing Union County Prosecutor Grace Park stands with investigators on Hussa Avenue in Linden, the scene of the July 2012 fatal shooting of former Linden High School cheerleader Amber WilsonJohn O’Boyle/The Star-Ledger

LINDEN — A lone votive candle sits at the base of a utility pole on Hussa Avenue in Linden. A year after blood was spilled there, the candle is all that remains of a memorial to Amber Wilson, an 18-year-old high school graduate gunned down during a robbery.

Last week, authorities returned to the crime scene — at the end of a driveway in the 500 block — to make a plea for help in the unsolved killing.

“We want to focus attention on this tragic crime and try to get someone to come forward and do the right thing,” Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said as she stood with investigators.

Wilson had been a co-captain of the cheerleading squad at Linden High School and a member of the school’s traveling dance troupe. She told friends and family members she planned to go into law enforcement.

The dream died with her shortly before midnight on July 9, 2012.

Authorities said Wilson and a friend were walking east on Hussa Avenue, heading from a Dunkin Donuts on North Wood Avenue to the home of another friend.

They were approached by at least one person, maybe two, authorities said. After a confrontation, Wilson was shot several times. Her cell phone, stolen during the incident, was recovered about two hours later in Rahway. Authorities say they hope someone saw at as it was tossed away.

Amber-Wilson.jpgPhoto of Amber Wilson, the former Linden High School cheerleader who was shot and filled by a robber on July 10, 2012 on Hussa Avenue.The Star-Ledger

Michael Henn, supervisor of the Union County Homicide Task Force, said investigators are certain people know more about the crime than police have been told.

“We know for a fact that there are other people who also know the identity of the robber,” Henn said.

Authorities have not released details of the robbery, and they declined to comment on published reports that suggested Wilson might have known her attacker.

In the days after the shooting, an official with knowledge of the case and two of the teen’s friends told The Star-Ledger Wilson warned her assailant to “knock it off” and threatened to call her older brother just before she was shot in the head.

Investigators also have declined to say what happened to Wilson’s companion that night.

“That person is concerned for their safety, and we are concerned for their safety,” Henn said.

Wilson’s father, Norman Duncan, continues to call investigators once or twice a month for updates on the case, authorities said. Investigators want to solve the killing for him, for Wilson and for her other family members and friends.

But the investigators said an arrest is just as important for public safety because a killer still walks the streets.

“The community looked up to Wilson, but anybody should be able to walk from their home and buy a cup of coffee,” Henn said.

Authorities appealed to anyone with information to call Linden police Detective Travis Koziol at (908) 474-8500 or Detective Andrew Dellaquila of the county homicide task force at (908) 527-4500. People can also call the county crime stoppers tip line at (908) 654-TIPS (8477) or go online at

Staff writer Mark Mueller contributed to this report.


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