Reward of $50K offered in Rowan murder case

Rowan University, along with the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office and others, is offering a $50,000 reward for information relating to the death of a Rowan student who was robbed and assaulted on the campus.

According to sources quoted by the Associated Press, Donald Farrell, 19, of Boonton, and some friends were headed to an apartment complex on the Glassboro school’s campus at about 9:15 p.m. on Oct. 27 when a handful of men approached them, asking for directions.

Farrell started speaking with them, but at least two of the men then severely beat him, taking his cell phone and wallet before running away. Police arrived to find him face down on the ground, bleeding heavily.

Farrell was taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden with severe bleeding to the head and stomach. He died at the hospital on Oct. 28, according to the AP.

Since then, friends, family and investigators have been searching for answers.

Their newest effort is a flier featuring a $50,000 reward and a picture of a “person of interest.”

The reward flier reached the College on Monday and was quickly approved to be displayed throughout campus.

According to José D. Cardona, director of Media and Public Relations at Rowan, the flier was made by the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.

Cardona said Rowan circulated the flier around its campus, while the prosecutor’s office brought it to other state schools, such as the College and Montclair State University.

“They’re getting a lot of leads,” Cardona said in regard to the prosecutor’s progress in the case.

According to Cardona, all leads are taken seriously and are persued by the prosecutor’s office.

The flier provides the details of the incident and a description of a “suspect” who is a “black male, medium complexion, with rounded facial features, braided hair, thin mustache and light goatee, approximately 20-24 years of age, and 5’7″ in height.”

The prosecutor’s office released a sketch of the man less than a day after Farrell’s death, according to the AP.

However, while Cardona said the man in the flier fits the description of one of the possible assailants, that does not necessarily mean he was involved in the incident and that he should be considered a “person of interest,” rather than a suspect.

The picture of the man on the flier was taken by a convenience store camera.

The flier also includes a close-up of the Coogi Heritage hoody the man is wearing in the picture.

“There’s a lot of things pointing in his direction and they just want to talk to him,” Cardona said of the man on the flier.

Cardona said the reward is for “information leading to the arrest and conviction of the assailant or assailants.”

Half of the total reward, $25,000, is being offered by Rowan University itself. The remaining $25,000 is coming from a combination of funds from the prosecutor’s office and the borough of Glassboro.

Due to a statute, the prosecutor’s office can only give $5,000 and Glassboro can only give $3,000. Friends and family of Farrell donated the remaining $17,000 of the $25,000 contributed to the reward.

Mary Pyffer, assistant prosecutor and victim witness coordinator for the prosecutor’s office, said the fliers were made shortly after Farrell’s death. She said that in addition to Rowan and the prosecutor’s office, friends and family have helped distribute the fliers.

“They could be all over by now,” Pyffer said.

Cardona said students at Rowan understand that Farrell’s death was an extraordinary situation.

“You go through a range of emotions, everything from fear to anger,” Cardona said. “Students have sort of worked through that reaction.”

Pyffer said people in the Glassboro area were eager to contribute to the reward.

“Mr. Farrell’s death was such a horrible, horrible thing that happened in our community,” Pyffer said. “Everyone in this area and throughout the state wants to make sure the perpetrators are apprehended. We would greatly appreciate anyone’s help in providing info that could lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Mr. Farrell’s death.”

Anyone with information may contact investigators at (856) 307-7180.