To hear her neighbors tell it, educational consultant Jeanne Edwards was nothing if not meticulous. Her home on Dale Road in Lower Moreland Township was a testament to that: She used skills honed as a landscape architect to plant trees and keep her lawn pristine.
That was how her property appeared Tuesday morning — behind yellow police tape, the only sign of the violence that authorities said had erupted inside just hours earlier.
Investigators in Montgomery County said on Tuesday that Edwards, 58, was killed by William Tomas Torres, an ex-boyfriend, during a confrontation inside her home Monday evening. Torres, 61, was arrested shortly after the shooting and is charged with first- and third-degree murder, reckless endangerment, and possession of a weapon, court records show.
He also faces a charge of simple assault for allegedly pointing the murder weapon at Edwards’ son Alex and threatening him after he arrived at the home.
Alex Edwards told detectives he heard a “pop” as he pulled into the driveway about 5:30 p.m, according to an affidavit filed in Torres’ arrest. Inside, it says, he saw Torres, who threatened him with a shotgun before fleeing.
About an hour later, Torres confessed to his current girlfriend in Limerick Township that he had committed the shooting, saying he had bought the weapon hours before shooting Edwards, the affidavit says. He told the woman he was unsure if Edwards had “made it.” Police arrested him in Limerick shortly afterward.
Prosecutors were unsure Tuesday what prompted the attack, but said Torres had told Alex Edwards that his mother had ruined his life.
Neighbors of Jeanne Edwards’ for more than a decade were reeling from the news that shattered their quiet block.
“I’m just sick to my stomach for her and for her boys,” said neighbor Chris Kenney. “This is just a heartbreaking incident.” Edwards had two sons, she said — Alex, and a son in the Army.
Anna Jenkins, whose driveway ends directly across from Edwards’, remembered her as “hardworking and lively.” Edwards traveled often for her job as a consultant for some of the school districts in the area, but would always find time at home to walk her dogs or tend to her yard, Jenkins said.
She noted that Edwards’ birthday was just three days ago.
“It’s just surprising that this happened so quickly. Someone’s here, and then they’re gone,” she said. “And two days before Thanksgiving, her family lost her. All you can do is just pray.”
Her death came exactly a week after Robert McIntyre and Sheila Dolan were found stabbed to death inside their Springfield Township home. They were killed on Nov. 18 by their daughter, Julia McIntyre, in an apparent double murder-suicide, investigators said.