Police: NJ woman beaten by niece in her sleep

July 21, 2012 3:23:26 PM PDT
Authorities in Camden County say a woman was asleep in her bed when she was severely attacked and beaten by her own niece.

Berlin Township police were called to a home on the 100 block of Pine Avenue around 4:45 a.m.

When they arrived, they found a 56-year-old woman bloody and beaten unconscious inside her second story bedroom.

The woman's niece, 28-year-old Tiffany Carpenter, had called 911 and told police an intruder had broken in and brutally attacked her aunt, but the phony story didn't hold up for very long.

Soon thereafter, Carpenter, who lives just a few blocks away, confessed to the vicious crime.

Carpenter was taken into custody.

She is charged with Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault and a weapons offense after police say she struck her aunt repeatedly with a pipe wrench.

"In 24 years as a police officer, I haven't seen that heinous of a crime of an attack with an instrument that this elderly female took," Chief Joseph Jackson of the Berlin Township Police Department said.

The victim was transported to Cooper University Hospital's trauma center in extremely critical condition.

Chief Jackson says a motive for the brutal assault is not clear, but he explained police were called to the home just hours earlier when the suspect and victim had gotten into an argument.

The pair decided not to file a police report.

"Apparently the niece came back and there was a further escalation of the incident that led to what we're dealing with now," Jackson said.

Detectives spent the day removing bags of evidence from the house.

Police say the victim's nephew also lives in the home, but apparently slept through the attack.

Still shaken, the young man did not want to talk to Action News Saturday.

Tiffany Carpenter is now locked up in Camden County Jail on $500,000 cash bail.

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