Police said Collingswood Quick Stop owner Seema Singh was stabbed more than 30 times with what they suspect was a kitchen knife. Meanwhile, her church is collecting donations for her three children.
By Matt Skoufalos
As investigators continue to pore over Collingswood Quick Stop owner Seema Singh’s death—a crime for which her husband, Mitin “Pal” Singh is in jail, awaiting trial—authorities may have recovered the murder weapon, but still do not have an official motive for the incident.
Pennsville Police Chief Allen J. Cummings said Thursday that investigators have a kitchen knife that they suspect was used to kill Seema Singh.
Autopsy results revealed that she was stabbed more than 30 times in the chest and abdomen, and likely had sustained injuries to her face prior to that, Cummings said.
On Tuesday morning, her husband, Mitin Singh, made the 911 phone call that drew authorities to the apartment building the family owned on Broadway in Pennsville, reporting that his wife wasn’t breathing. Pennsville police officers beat EMT’s to the scene, and discovered Mitin Singh allegedly standing over his wife’s lifeless body in their kitchen.
“He made a statement about defending himself,” Cummings said. “He said, ‘I want my lawyer.’ There was no questioning involved.”
The chief said Pennsville police are most frequently dispatched for domestic disputes, but they had never been called to the Singh household for anything of the sort. The last homicide the town has seen happened nearly 20 years ago, when serial killer Andrew Cunanan murdered Finn’s Point National Cemetery caretaker William Reese, and went on to kill fashion designer Gianni Versace before committing suicide.
Cummings also said Friday that the family has confirmed Seema Singh’s remains will be cremated. Other information on funeral services has not yet been released.
Planning for the children
Cummings reported that the Singhs’ three children, aged 5, 6, and 15, are staying with close family friends.
They are wards of the state until their custody can be formally determined.
Seema Singh’s brother and Mitin Singh’s sister are visiting from Massachusetts and New York, respectively, the chief said.
A source close to the Singh family confirmed that the children are in “a stable, familiar environment.”
They have been told what happened, but only the oldest son understands what happened fully.
“The younger ones haven’t grasped it,” the source said. “They have not grieved yet.”
At the same time, the New Castle, DE-based First Baptist Church of Delaware (FBCD), of which the Singhs were parishioners, is working to fundraise for their children.
Pastor Clint Scott said supporters who wish to contribute can use the planned giving portal on the church website, conferring its nonprofit status to allow donors’ gifts to be tax-deductible.
“Our church is going to be the filter mechanism for all gifts to the children,” Scott said. “One-hundred-percent of the proceeds will be going to them.”
Scott said he knew the family very well as members of the church, and said the congregation “want[s]to be advocates for the children and help them live as stable a life as possible.”
On Tuesday, neighbors held a vigil for Seema Singh at the Collingswood convenience store the family had operated for nearly 17 years, during which they recalled her kindness to children.
“She lived a life as a mother to every child in this community for 20 years,” Deacon Karen Rodriguez said. “She was the sunshine in this community. From the smallest child to the biggest adult, she loved each and every one of us.”
Rodriguez urged those gathered to follow Seema Singh’s good-natured example in her absence.
“Be a mother and father to every child out here so every child can have a mother and a father,” she said.
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