South Jersey woman killed by retired cop ex-boyfriend in murder-suicide

Erin Gatier

Authorities in Gloucester County are investigating a murder-suicide involving a retired police officer who appears to have shot and killed his former girlfriend.

Police say Erin Gatier’s ex-boyfriend forced his way inside the victim’s Deptford Township home, killing her and then himself.

Police were called to a home on Ogden Road around 7 p.m. Monday for a welfare check.

Officers discovered two bodies: Gatier, 47, and her ex-boyfriend, William Beattie, 47, of Landisville Pennsylvania.

Autopsies performed on their bodies by the Gloucester County Medical Examiner’s Office found the incident was a murder-suicide, investigators said. Authorities say Beattie was the shooter.

William Beattie

An investigation by the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes and Crime Scene Units, conducted in close partnership with the Deptford Township Police Department, determined that Beattie forced entry into Gatier’s Ogden Road residence, where he shot and killed her before committing suicide

The alleged killer was a Landisville, Pennsylvania, native who worked as an officer for the Borough of Buena, Egg Harbor City and Atlantic City police departments, before retiring in 2009.

“I’m at a loss for words and so heartbroken,” said the victim’s sister, Salena Schwegel. “This is another example of abusive men leading to the worst possible outcome. Erin was a beautiful mother, sister, and daughter.”

Gatier worked for Compassus Home Health in Willingboro.

“Our Compassus team mourns the devastating loss of a beloved colleague, leader and friend. Erin was a trusted and respected leader with a heart for hospice who will be deeply missed,” said Gina Long, the company’s director of communications. “We see grief every day in our work and know the tremendous impact the loss of a loved one can have.” “

“Our priority now is in supporting our team members while ensuring the needs of our patients and families are met,” said Long. “Our hearts go out to her family during this difficult time.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Brandon Cohen of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, at 856-384-5524, or Detective Robert Jones, of the Deptford Township Police Department, at 856-845-6300.

Information can also be e-mailed to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office at tips@co.gloucester.nj.us

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