LINWOOD, N.J. (WPVI) —
Many people from the quiet town of Linwood, New Jersey are breathing a sigh of relief now that an arrest has been made in the death of April Kauffman.
Kauffman was found murdered inside her home more than five years ago.
“I think it puts the towns head to rest a little bit,” said Linda Mullin, of Linwood. “People can finally move on from it and look back at April and see something positive coming from it.”
No one we spoke with was surprised that the suspect turned out to be her husband, Dr. James Kauffman, but the alleged details left many in the state of disbelief.
Dr. Kauffman is accused of hatching a murder-for-hire plot that ended with his wife’s death.
Investigators said the suspect made a fortune through an illegal drug distribution network.
According to authorities, Dr. Kauffman enlisted the help of Ferdinand Augello, who allegedly was a key player in the drug ring.
Kaufman and Augello then allegedly hired a man named Francis Mulholland to kill April, after April threatened to divorce her husband and expose his illegal enterprise.
“He was intent to have her killed as opposed to losing his financial empire, as he described it to several individuals,” said Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner.
Tyner said Kauffman and four of the other defendants, Ferdinand Augello, Paul Pagano, Tabitha Chapman and Joseph Mulholland will have their first appearance in court Thursday.
Neighbors said it is hard to believe a physician could allegedly do something so sinister.
“It’s not something you think a professional person like a doctor or a lawyer would do,” said Glen Rothstein of Linwood. “Certainly not something that a professional would want to go down that road.”
Prosecutors said Kauffman’s illegal drug enterprise continued for five years after April’s death.
A police body-cam video captured the scene when he was arrested on drug and weapons charges last June.
Six other people have also since been arrested, and face racketeering charges linked to this case.
“It’s a very sad situation,” said Michelle Hoffman of Linwood. “But it’s just shocking that someone could do something like that.”
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