A killing rends calm of a usually placid street

Posted: October 16, 2013

RIVERTON Shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday, I. Michael Heine heard what sounded like two gunshots on his leafy street, named for the carriage houses in which workers of wealthy residents once lived.

Heine, who practices construction law in Cherry Hill, thought about getting up from his computer and investigating. Then he thought better of it.

"I'm not part of CSI Riverton," said Heine, a Camden County assistant prosecutor in 1969 and 1970. "The street's not visible from my house."

Later that day, residents of Carriage House Lane, a sliver of a street in this Burlington County suburb, awoke to reporters in their midst. Early in the morning, a woman was found fatally shot in the dimly lit street between Lippincott and Thomas Avenues, a block from the Delaware River.

The Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and Riverton police on Monday identified her as Te'Aira Denise Earvin, 22, of Youngstown, Ohio.

Authorities are investigating what led Earvin to Carriage House Lane. No arrests had been made as of Monday.

A caller to 911 shortly before 5:30 a.m. reported Earvin lying in the street. Authorities said she died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Heine was not the only resident who recalled hearing gunfire early Sunday.

A second man, who did not want his name used, said his wife recalled hearing what she later learned were gunshots - three of them - around 5:15.

"It's not a sound one customarily hears in this neighborhood," Heine said.

The community was founded in 1851 by some Philadelphia residents as an escape from the city.

According to the borough's website, the founders were mostly Quakers seeking summer homes. Riverton offered country living and access to Philadelphia.

The wealthy lived on the Delaware; their workers lived behind them, Heine said.

He said he moved there from Cherry Hill 13 years ago.

"It's a charming, quiet neighborhood," Heine said. "A capital offense might be a parking ticket."

Riverton police, on their Facebook page, sought to assure residents Sunday that "there is no reason for alarm," and said they should continue normal activities, "including being outside, jogging, walking your dogs, etc."

One woman wrote on the page that she still felt safe.

"My primary concern is for the victim and her family. Regardless of the circumstances, she was someone's daughter," she wrote.

Anyone with information is asked to call Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7113.


dsimon@phillynews.com

856-779-3829

@darransimon

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