Justice for April Kauffman rally draws a crowd in Linwood UPDATE

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kauffman rally Friends and family of April Kauffman, including her daughter Kim Pack, center, at the Justice for April rally in Linwood on the anniversary of her murder May 10. Suzanne Marino LINWOOD—Hundreds made their way to the bike path in Linwood at Woodstock Drive for the Justice for April Kauffman vigil and rally. Organized by Kauffman’s long time friend, Lee Darby of Linwood, the rally was to mark the one year anniversary of Kauffman’s murder, show support for her family and friends and to raise questions why no one has ever been arrested in this brutal crime that occurred in Kauffman’s Woodstock Drive home she shared with her husband, Dr. James Kauffman May 10, 2012.

Radio personality Harry Hurley served as the emcee for the evening’s event that gave family and friends the opportunity to speak from the heart about the special place April Kauffman has in their heart.
Veterans were well represented at the vigil from the line of American Legion Riders to retired U.S. Army General Dan Matz and Atlantic County Veterans Service Officer, Bob Frolow.

Matz relayed a story of Kauffman walking into a ward at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington where soldiers who had been seriously injured were recuperating. “April walked in with no hesitation and visited with all of the soldiers and their families and made them feel at ease, she was a special person,” said Matz. He also told a humorous story about her getting five minutes with one of his superiors at a banquet in DC. “She would not take no for an answer,” Matz said but credited that meeting with moving local veterans closer to medical care near their community.

Rick Pitner of Shore Medical Center said; “When you had April Kauffman on your team you had a tiger by the tail.”

While friends and others spoke, two young girls waited for their turn to speak. Nine year-old Samantha Redmonds lives a few blocks from Kauffman’s home. She said she did not know Kauffman but she has heard so many things about her and that she was killed in her own home just a few blocks away from Redmonds home. The nine-year-old she said she was angry that something like this could happen and she hoped someone would be arrested for their crime.

Bob Avelino of Mays Landing is a long time friend and business associate of Kauffman’s. She purchased his hair salon from him and Avelino stayed on to manage the shop. “She was certainly one-of-a-kind.” While Avelino admitted he sometimes had trouble following Kauffman’s train of thought he said, “April was the only person I know who could be involved in multiple conversations at the same time and never miss a beat, you had to love her.”

Kimberly Pack, Kauffman’s daughter was appreciative of the support shown for her mother and her family. Pack also said now that the first year is behind her she is no longer going to be quiet and that she will not rest until the person who took her mother away is brought to justice.

That same sentiment was echoed by Darby who urged anyone who thinks they might have heard or seen something or if they feel like they know something about the case, to reach out to the prosecutor’s office. A sheet was available for anyone who wanted to speak with the prosecutor’s office. “It might seem like something that is inconsequential but it could be the missing bit of information that the authorities need,” said Darby.

Hurley offered to donate the first $500 to help encourage someone who might have information to step forward toward solving the crime and several others followed suit. He suggested a 501c3 be set up for that purpose.  

After many spoke, a prayer was said, a poem read and candles lit, the vigil ended when Chinese lanterns were lit and floated up into the air away from the rally. Everyone quietly watched as the lanterns glide into the sunset.

Lanterns were sent into the sunset after the Justice for April Kauffman rally and vigil Friday, May 9 along the bike path in Linwood. Chrissy Roche of Longport and Tom Dixon of Hammonton try to send one of the lanterns on its way. Lanterns were sent into the sunset after the Justice for April Kauffman rally and vigil Friday, May 9 along the bike path in Linwood. Chrissy Roche of Longport and Tom Dixon of Hammonton try to send one of the lanterns on its way.   The members of Rolling Thunder prepare to leave at the close of the justice for April Kauffman vigil and rally along the bike path in Linwood, Friday, May 10. The members of Rolling Thunder prepare to leave at the close of the justice for April Kauffman vigil and rally along the bike path in Linwood, Friday, May 10.


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