MONTCLAIR — The ex-boyfriend of a woman found fatally stabbed on Friday morning turned himself into police and was charged with her murder.

Akirah M. Townes, 20, of Orange, was leaving on a trip to Virginia Beach when she was attacked outside a home on Hartley Street in Montclair around 6 a.m., according to acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino. As the investigation into her death got underway, Ahighah Broomes, 21, of Orange turned himself into Orange police.

Broomes was charged with murder, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Townes was taken to Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson, where she was pronounced dead at 6:42 a.m., according to Laurino, who did not disclose details about what led to the stabbing.

An unidentified witness told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that several people were arguing outside the house around 5:30 a.m.

Townes was a student at Kean University, according to university spokeswoman Margaret McCorry.

A relative of Townes said that Townes was an honors student and made the Dean's List. A picture on her Facebook page, which was full of messages of condolences, indicated she was a cheerleader at Orange High School.

"I watched you grow into a beautiful young lady!! This is not right at all!!" one friend wrote on her Facebook page.

Broomes is being held in the Essex County Correctional Facility pending his first court appearance.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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