The death of a 61-year-old woman found in her home at an adult community Tuesday has been labeled a homicide, and a man who was stopped while driving the victim's car is being questioned about her death, police say.
The body of Gail Conway was found at her home at 3C Sumac Court in Country Place Condominiums earlier Tuesday, according to a knowledgeable source who was not authorized to speak on the record.
Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Ocean County prosecutor, declined to release details about the circumstances surrounding Conway's death.
"We are treating it as a suspicious death. There were signs on her body that it was more than natural causes," Della Fave said.
The man who was driving Conway's car was stopped and taken into custody at 5:29 p.m. Tuesday at Lakewood-Allenwood Road in Howell, Della Fave said.
Lakewood Patrolman Jason Pederson spotted the man driving the victim's car and called other officers to help him make the arrest, he said.
A small dog was in the car with the man, he said.
The man is being questioned by detectives, he said.
Police initially went to Conway's home because co-workers were worried that she had not shown up at work on Tuesday as scheduled.
Conway was last seen at work Thursday and attended a meeting of the condominium association Thursday night, according to neighbors.
Conway was identified by neighbors as an outspoken community advocate. She lived at the condo in the adult community with her son, according to Joyce and Norman Havens, who live across the street on Gladiola Court.
"She was a very, very nice person," Joyce Havens said.
The neighbors gathered on the street near Conway's home in the close-knit adult community, talking while police cars were parked outside the condominium.
"It has been like this all day," Joyce Havens said. "She was a really hard worker and usually left for work just after dawn."
At one point, Conway's mother lived with her in the condo, and she was later put in a nursing home after becoming ill, she said.
Conway has a brother who lives out of state, Joyce Havens said.
Norman Havens said Conway and her son were working outside last week putting down mulch.
But there were often loud arguments between Conway and her son that were known to several neighbors.
"He had a short temper," Norman Havens said.
A neighbor said Conway's son, Brian, had walked a small dog -- the family pet -- about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. However, no one had seen him drive away from the condo that day, witnesses said.
One car had been towed away from the Conways' home earlier by police.
Neighbors said Conway was vocal about the pool having two hours a day of segregated swim time. She would come home from work and want to use the pool but it would be at the time set aside for the men, Joyce Havens said.
While the pool rules allow mixed swimming for most of the day, there are two hours set aside where men and women swim separately, according to the association rules.
"She was definitely against that," Joyce Havens said.
"She was very effective in trying to get her point across. She got a lot of things accomplished."