April Kauffman was semiconscious when she was found on her bedroom floor May 10 with what appeared to be a cut on her arm, according to a police report obtained by The Press of Atlantic City.
Medics found Kauffman, 47, unconscious and unresponsive when they arrived at her Linwood home at 11:33 a.m., four minutes after a 911 call was placed, the report states. The well-known veterans advocate died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Police were not making their first call to the home Kauffman and her husband, James, shared on Woodstock Drive. An Open Public Records request by The Press of Atlantic City revealed complaints were made to police from the residence about 30 times over the past 10 years. None was in response to a domestic incident.
An additional 33 responses by police were made to the home because of the burglar or fire alarm going off; all appeared accidental or with no crime involved. No alarm was reported the day of the attack on April Kauffman, despite a still-active account with Schuler Security, according to company records.
Little information has been released about the homicide case, but Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel said the case was being worked on diligently.
“Although we have forensic tools, this is not ‘CSI,’ where things get done within the hour,” he said, referencing the television crime show. “Some things take days and weeks to do, as is the case in any type of technically oriented investigation. We can’t say how long something like this takes.”
Housel has not even released the full details of the autopsy, including how many times Kauffman was struck by bullets or any other injuries she may have suffered.
Will Gonzalez, however, indicated at least one injury to Kauffman when he called 911. Gonzalez was employed by Kauffman to take care of her birds.
“My boss is flat on the floor in her bedroom,” he says in the edited 911 call the Prosecutor’s Office released. “She has a cut on her arm. She’s not answering.”
Gonzalez is not heard saying that she is conscious anywhere in the partial recording, but the police report from that day indicates the information that April Kauffman was semiconscious was given over the phone — and that James Kauffman was also at the scene.
Attempts to reach Gonzalez were unsuccessful through either the phone number or address listed for him in the police report.
Since the killing, Dr. Kauffman has received threats, according to a police report filed by a friend of Dr. Kauffman on May 13. The friend “reported that he is receiving emails from individuals stating that they want to kill/harm James Kauffman because they feel he is responsible for the death of April,” the report states.
The report also indicates that Margate police were made aware of the information ahead of April Kauffman’s funeral service there.
Dr. Kauffman’s attorney, Ed Jacobs, previously said his client has fully cooperated with police and even gave a statement before contacting an attorney.
As for the threats — or insinuation that the doctor may be a suspect — Jacobs said he would not comment. Housel’s policy is not to name anyone until charges are filed or an arrest is made.
“We’re keeping a deliberately open mind and not focusing on any one person or group of persons,” Housel said. “I don’t authorize arrests unless I’m confident we’re going to prove it at trial. We only get one shot (to prosecute a case). Someone gets acquitted, there’s no going back and trying that person again.”
“The Prosecutor’s Office is obligated to do a thorough investigation, and we’re glad they’re doing that,” Jacobs said. “It’s not fitting for Dr. Kauffman or myself to make any comment based on rumor or innuendo, and there’s plenty of both floating around right now. We’re not going to contribute to it.”
Jacobs said he would not be able to comment on any discussions he has had with Dr. Kauffman regarding his safety.
The nearly 30 complaint calls made over a decade to the home were mostly from April Kauffman and indicate she was a vigilant neighbor.
On one occasion, she reported a car parked at a home while the residents were away on vacation. Police found that the two men were doing floor work and that the owners had returned.
In a call made June 25, 2009, Kauffman said that she was being harassed on the Internet and that a firearm had been missing from her home for several weeks.
The Kauffmans had several registered guns, although authorities have not commented on how many were at the home, or whether any was used in the fatal attack. The registration information would be filed with State Police, but it is not publicly accessible.
April Kauffman did not pursue the Internet harassment claim, which is not detailed in the report.
Three days later, Dr. Kauffman went to the station to say the gun had been in a drawer in the bedroom. Police entered it into the national system, indicating there were no suspects in the disappearance.
The last complaint made from the home was May 7, 2011, when Kauffman accused a worker of stealing jewelry from her. She declined to sign a complaint at that time, saying the man had agreed to return the items, the report states.
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