LINWOOD — April Kauffman's daughter is done being quiet.
A year after the local radio personality and veterans advocate was fatally shot in her Linwood home, more than 100 people gathered Friday on the bike path down the block to remember her and let her still-free killer know justice will be served.
“I'm coming out of hiding and making sure this person pays,” said Kauffman's only child, Kimberly Pack.
“She was my soul mate, she was my sister, she was my mother,” Pack said.
“Justice for April,” the crowd chanted before lighting floating lanterns that they then released into the dusk sky.
“I'm not making any accusations, but I think I know who did it,” said April Kauffman's friend and fellow radio host Harry Hurley. “Who thinks they know who did it?”
In answer, most in the crowd raised their hands.
Those who spoke about Kauffman remembered her passion, strength and energy.
While she was an advocate for those who fought for their country, she herself was like a combat leader, said veteran Rick Pitman, who likened her to Gen. George S. Patton.
“Every single day, somebody is helped because of her,” Russ Patterson said. “Every day she helps someone who will never meet her.”
And those who knew her don't doubt she would have fought for an answer to this unsolved crime as well if she had been the one left behind.
“She would be a nightmare for anyone who was suspected,” Hurley said. “She would not quit until the mission was achieved.”
Friend Joseph Rullo, a former U.S. Senate candidate, said he believed even the gnats that filled the air at the vigil were working for Kauffman.
“I think she's trying to remind us to keep agitating and biting for an answer,” he said.
Kauffman's widower, local endocrinologist James Kauffman, was not at the gathering.
“Where's Jim Kauffman?” asked a sign placed on the Linwood bike path down the block from the home the doctor shared with his slain wife.
The doctor has not commented publicly on the killing aside from speaking at her funeral.
Lee Darby, April Kauffman's friend, said the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, which is investigating the case, had cautioned not to speak to the media after the killing.
“We told them after one year, the silence was over,” she said.
Pack said she would now speak out for her mother.
“I do have faith in the Prosecutor's Office,” she stressed. “I think they are doing the right thing. They will bring the right person to justice.”
A sheet for those to sign who may have information in the killing was available Friday, and Darby said an investigator will follow through with those who signed.
Hurley also suggested starting a Justice for April Kauffman fund that would raise money for a reward.
“I predict there will be thousands of dollars pledged the day it's officially started,” he said.
Anyone with information about Kauffman's killing is asked to contact the Major Crimes Unit at 609-909-7666 or Linwood police at 609-927-5252.
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