An Egg Harbor Township man is charged with killing his longtime girlfriend early Friday morning by repeatedly striking her with a hammer, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said Saturday.
Lashaun Smith and Sarah Phillips had four children together, according to family members.
Smith, 36, is now charged with murder and weapons offenses in the killing of Phillips, 28.
Smith is scheduled for a first appearance Saturday in connection with the charges. A date for a subsequent detention hearing has not been released.
Egg Harbor Township police were called to the home on South Zion Road shortly after 5 a.m. in reference to an injured female, Tyner said.
Phillips was found inside the home, and pronounced dead at the scene.
An investigation by Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Egg Harbor Township police led to Smith’s arrest.
An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday.
The couple’s children are now with Phillips’ mother, Paula Modelle.
The Department of Children Protection and Permanency did a home visit, and found Modelle’s home needs repairs and renovations in order for her to keep the children there, according to Modelle’s stepson, who set up a GoFundMe page.
The four children also need clothing and other essentials because their belongings are all tied up as part of the ongoing investigation at the home they shared with their parents.
Phillips’ cousin also has set up a GoFundMe page for Sarah’s Children.