A Pennsylvania woman charged with murder in the shooting death of an Old Bridge woman she was staying with had looked up how to shoot people leading up to the killing, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

Elizabeth Jackson, 61, performed at least 80 Google searches — for “gunshot wounds,” “can you survive a gunshot wound to the head” and “does gunshot wounds hurt” — in the two weeks before Deborah “Sonni” Brown-Hepworth was found dead by her son, the same affidavit said.

The 65-year-old woman had been shot in the back and was pronounced dead at her residence in the Laurence Harbor area on Sept. 17, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.

Investigators found that Jackson had been a houseguest of Brown-Hepworth’s for about two weeks, until Sept. 15.

During that time, Jackson had texted with her son, who asked her to “take a picture of the TV,” apparently referring to a box at Brown-Hepworth’s home.

The text exchange, recovered from deleted messages by law enforcement, was two days before Brown-Hepworth was found unresponsive by her son.

Deborah "Sonni" Brown-Hepworth was found unresponsive in her Old Bridge home (via Facebook Sonni Bee)
Deborah "Sonni" Brown-Hepworth was found unresponsive in her Old Bridge home (via Facebook)

Through an interview with a neighbor and the home’s alarm system, police found that Jackson was the last known person to be at the Hanna Lane residence until the grim discovery, two days later.

Jackson was arrested at her own home on Sept. 19 in Yeadon — a western suburb of Philadelphia.

Before her arrest, police asked to search the cell phone of her son, Victor Jackson — who told officers he did not have it on him as he didn’t want police to take it.

In addition to first-degree murder, Elizabeth Jackson has been charged with second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Anyone with information or surveillance footage of the area has been asked to call Detective Addie Spinola of the Old Bridge Police Department at 732-721-5600 ext. 3181 or Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-3927.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

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