Hopewell resident charged in homicide

Brian Sheppard

A Hopewell resident is in custody for the April 25 murder of a 37-year-old Trenton woman.

Brian Sheppard, 53, has been charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

Sheppard was a resident of  470 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, the location where the body of the victim was found.

On the evening of April 25, Hopewell Township police officers were dispatched to the address after receiving a report about a stolen vehicle. Officers spoke with the resident and owner of vehicle, who reported that he returned from work that day and discovered his vehicle missing. He also reported that his roommate, Brian Sheppard, was not at home and he could not reach him. Officers entered Sheppard’s bedroom and discovered the body of the victim, who was later identified as Laura Perez. The cause of death was significant blunt force trauma to the head.

An investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force determined that Sheppard
brought the victim to the house prior to her death. He fled the scene in the black Chevrolet
Silverado. Alerts were broadcast for Sheppard and the stolen vehicle.

On April 27, the stolen vehicle was located in Hamilton Township. Police officers in Hamilton Township observed Sheppard driving the vehicle. Officers attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop of the stolen vehicle and had to chase Sheppard, who drove the vehicle through Hamilton Township into Lawrence Township and West Windsor. Due to the high speeds and the dangerous manner in which Sheppard was operating the vehicle, police ended the pursuit.

Sheppard was arrested on April 28 and charged with eluding police and theft by
receiving stolen property. He is currently being held at the Mercer County Correction Center.

The case remains under investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force. Anyone
with information is asked to contact Trenton Police Detective Scott Peterson of the task force
at (609) 989-6406.