Brandon Parker was working at the Broadway Styles barber shop on Broad Street on the evening of Saturday, Sept. 23, when two kids walked in around 8:30.
They were carrying plastic toy swords and one had a box of Cheez-It crackers. They were looking for something to drink.
The 5-year-olds told Parker something terrible had happened at their house on nearby Hopkins Street.
He didn’t know if they were telling the truth or if they really understood the severity of what they were saying.
Parker walked the kids around the corner back to Hopkins Street and down to the address they gave him. When no one answered the door, he called 911.
“Two little kids walked up to the barber shop and said somebody killed their mom,’ Parker tells a 911 dispatcher on a recording released by Gloucester County in response to an Open Public Records Act request. “They said she was laying on the floor with a knife stab … with something stabbed in her.”
Police responded and found the body of Shawneeq M. Carter, 26, of Camden. She was housesitting for a friend and was staying in the duplex with her 5-year-old son and another child.
The search for her killer continues.
Carter’s father told 6ABC that the kids found her body sometime on Friday and that they had heard nothing to indicate what had happened to her. It wasn’t until Saturday night that they wandered out of the house and into the barbershop.
Given their ages, they didn’t realize what had happened, Parker said Thursday. “They were just kids.”
As police arrived at the home, Parker remained with the children.
“I didn’t go into the house,” he said. “We sat across the street while they went in the house.”
Investigators say Carter died of blunt force trauma, but have provided few other details. In response to a question about the 911 call, a Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman said they believe Carter suffered knife wounds.
Officials have noted that they don’t believe the community is in any danger.
Family and friends say Carter’s son is struggling to understand that his mother is gone.
“He’s traumatized. He keeps asking where his mom his,” Carter’s friend, Golden Ike, said during a vigil held last Thursday night . “Nobody knows what to tell him.”
Funeral services for Carter were held Tuesday.
Anyone with information about Carter’s death is asked to contact Detective Warren Rivell of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office at 856-384-5625 or Detective Carl Villone of the Woodbury City Police Department at 856-845-0065.