Man nabbed in VA for Phillipsburg homicide

Published: Oct 23 2013 10:03:32 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 24 2013 06:22:34 AM EDT
PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. -

He's been on the run for five weeks, but the man wanted for shooting a woman to death in Warren County, New Jersey, now sits in a jail cell a long way from home.

It was a deadly attack last month in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Police say 22-year-old Melissa Williams was shot multiple times inside her Spruce Alley home.

"I thought somebody fell down the steps," said neighbor Jessica Seip. "Then my friend goes, 'no that was the bullets,' and we ran out to make sure."

The mother of two was dead. And 26-year-old Salim Newton was on the run. Investigators spent the last five weeks hunting for him.

"Law enforcement had developed information that had tracked Mr. Newton to Virginia," explained Warren County Prosecutor Richard Burke.

U.S. Marshals in Richmond, Virginia say they were alerted Friday that Newton may be in town. They followed up on leads quickly, and were able to take him down.

"This morning at about 10:30 we observed Mr. Newton exit the house that we were watching and then go back into the house," U.S. Marshal Fugitive Task Force Supervisor, Kevin Connolly described.

Officers moved in, and surrounded the house.

"At some point Salim Newton came out with his hands up and was placed under arrest," added Connolly.

He says Newton had been hiding-out at the house for about three weeks. Newton is now being held in Richmond until he can be brought back to New Jersey.

"I'm glad that they got him," said Jessica Seip. "I feel safer walking around the streets."

"I feel glad because now Melissa can rest in peace," added Tom Seip.

Neighbors say Williams only lived at the Spruce Alley home for a few months before the violent crime happened. A small memorial nearby is a way folks in the area are remembering the young mother.

Investigators still have not released a motive in the fatal shooting, or what Newton's relationship with Williams was. But they agree cooperation between multiple agencies in multiple states is invaluable.

"Really it's working collaboratively that we were able to bring this individual into custody," explained Phillipsburg Police Chief James Faulborn.