Former Rutgers Student Found Dead in New Brunswick Backyard Near Campus

by Dylan Saccoccio 

According to ABC, authorities are investigating the death of a New Jersey college student whose body was found in the backyard of a home in New Brunswick.

Prosecutors found 22-year-old Tennessee native William McCaw the morning of February 15, when a neighbor saw his body lying face down in the snow at a home on Hartwell Street, according to NBC. Preliminary reports say that the body exhibits signs of blunt force trauma, suggesting that he possibly could have been beaten.

Investigators believe he was killed between the hours of 3 and 9 a.m. interviewed Josh Willner, who lives down the street from where the murder took place, said the slaying “shakes you up a little bit,” and added that “it was unsettling that it happened on our street.”

Friends and family could not understand who would want to harm McCaw.image004

“He was a good guy, always smiling, always says “hi”, goes out of his way for everyone,” said Stephen Costas in a report done by NBC.

A post on Rutgers’ Pi Kappa Phi chapter’s Facebook page mourned his death, saying “Billy will be remembered as a genuine friend, and a selfless individual who always gave the impression that he cared.” McCaw was a member of the fraternity before transferring to Kean to play soccer.

The NBC article says that friends last saw McCaw late Friday night.

“No one deserves that, especially someone that great,” said Megan Shea, who went to high school with McCaw “he was just an all-around great guy.”

Rutgers students are mourning the tragedy, and some are clearly disconcerted by the news of a murder happening so close to their own homes.

Some Rutgers students are even opting to avoid Hartwell Street all together for the time being.

“I definitely feel not as safe as I used to,” said Mike Carroll, a Rutgers sophomore who resides on neighboring street, as reported by reports that authorities say McCaw had no known connection to the residents of the home.  According to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey, no arrests have been made, but the investigation is “active and continuing.”

Volunteers have gone door-to-door passing out fliers requesting any information about the murder.  The fliers list the victim’s clothing and brief details about the murder and ongoing investigation.

The flier also says “Anyone with information please contact New Brunswick Police Detective Martinez 732-745-5217 or Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Investigator Daniewicz 732-745-4018.”

On the evening of Wednesday February 19, McCaw’s friends and brothers of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity organized a candlelight vigil on the steps of Brower Commons.  More than 100 people attended, reported the Daily Targum.

McCaw, who transferred to Kean University in mid-January, was an integral member of the fraternity’s chapter during his time at Rutgers, via

The Targum reported that McCaw’s father, Robert McCaw, who lit the first candle, told the crowd his family was blessed to have the support of all his friends, brothers and everyone in the Rutgers community.

“I thank you for being here and for showing outpouring love and support to our family,” Robert McCaw said.

Robert McCaw said his family seeks no revenge and would rather see the energy going into offering prayers for his son. They hope New Brunswick is made a safer place, according to the Daily Targum.

A donation page has been established on in an attempt to raise money for the victim’s family in order to cover the costs of the memorial services.  As of Friday February 21, the page has received over $23,000 in donations from friends, family, and people who just want to help out.

The link to the fundraiser is here: and every donation, no matter how small, is sure to make a difference.