A woman never returned to work after her lunch break. Police say a coworker killed her

Susan Loyer

PLAINSBORO, N.J. – A New Jersey man has been charged with murder after his coworker was found dead in her apartment after she didn't return to work from her lunch break.

Kenneth C. Saal, 30, of Lindenwold, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder and third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Plainsboro Police Chief Fred Tavener said in a release Thursday.

The charges were filed following an investigation by the Plainsboro Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

An investigation determined that on June 10, Saal, a coworker at a marketing firm, killed 26-year-old Carolyn Byington in her apartment when she went home for lunch, according to the release.

Plainsboro police responded to the home after they were asked by other coworkers to do a wellness check on the victim at approximately 5:57 p.m. Upon arrival police found Byington dead in her apartment.

Saal was apprehended at his residence by members of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Plainsboro Police Department, with the assistance of the Lindenwold Police Department and the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office - Homicide Unit.

“I sincerely thank and commend the many dedicated members of law enforcement who have worked tirelessly to solve this homicide, and apprehend the defendant," Carey said in the release. "The investigation has been a top priority since the crime occurred. I hope that the arrest brings at least some sense of peace to the friends and family of Carolyn, as well as the greater community.”

Carey said during a recent interview that the case has been "frustrating.”

Carey, who responded to the scene the night of the homicide, had initially expected the case to be solved within a few days.

Carey described Byington as a "fairly quiet individual" who was just going about her life.

She was a 2011 graduate of Ridge High School and earned her bachelor’s degree at Lafayette College where she studied international affairs and anthropology and sociology, according to her obituary.

The obituary also states she had a passion for traveling the world and had studied abroad in Japan and Germany. She also loved all forms of music.

She had worked at Engine US in Princeton, a marketing solutions company, since 2016 as a market research project manager, according to her obituary.

She had also been an active volunteer with the Junior League of Greater Princeton, her obituary states.

In the obituary, her family asked that donations be made to the Weill Cornell Medicine's Chiari Research. A post on the Children's Brain Tumor Project website indicates Byington had been a patient of Dr. Mark Souweidane who had successfully treated her in 2008 for a Chiari malformation. The family sought donations in Byington's memory to support Souweidane's research. 

“We want the last chapter of Carolyn’s life to be one where her friends and loved ones can help others in her memory. Carolyn was a true philanthropist who was active in many charitable organizations, and we know she would have wanted to help other children under Dr. Souweidane’s care by supporting his research,” said Carolyn’s mother, Jennifer Byington, in the post.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Tim McMahon of the Plainsboro Police Department at 609-799-2333, ext. 1627, or Detective David Abromaitis of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-4436.

Follow Susan Loyer on Twitter: @SusanLoyerMyCJ

This article originally appeared on Bridgewater Courier News: Man charged with killing a coworker while she was on her lunch break