The murder of Carolina Cano in March in Jersey City’s Lincoln Park sent a wave of fear through an entire community, igniting new concerns about personal safety.
For rattled residents, the tipping point came when law enforcement confirmed that Cano’s killing, just before dawn on Sunday, March 24, was apparently completely random. The 45-year-old nanny seemingly did not know the suspect in custody for her killing, 33-year old Jorge Rios, also of Jersey City.
City and county officials addressed a packed Gallo Center in Lincoln Park on Tuesday night to reassure everyone that Lincoln Park is safe. Officials also gave residents an outline of increased security measures they are taking.
"The park is everybody's front yard in an urban area," Jersey City Public Safety Director James Shea said Tuesday. "Thousands of people use this park every day, so we are going to be over-policing the park for quite a while. Not because we think there's any threat remaining, but because it's important that people feel safe," Shea added.
Longtime Jersey City resident known as J.L. says she would often see Cano running alone and said she kept to herself.
Cano went for a jog in Lincoln Park on Mar. 24 and never returned home. Investigators found Cano’s body hours later, strangled and submerged in a lake at the park. The medical examiner ruled her cause of death as “homicidal violence.”
On Sunday, police arrested Rios and charged him with felony murder, kidnapping and aggregated sexual assault.