The murder of a bicycle shop worker by a hammer attack, Jeanette Willem, shocks the town of Northvale, New Jersey

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NORTHVALE, NJ (CBSNewYork) – The brutal murder of a New Jersey mother has left a Bergen County town in disbelief.

Now, police say they have the woman’s colleague in custody, CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reported Thursday.

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In the quiet Northvale neighborhood, news of the death of 43-year-old Jeanette Willem reverberates throughout the community.

” It’s shocking. It really is. It’s terrible, really terrible, ”said Mimi Levine, who worked at Northvale.

Willem was found brutally murdered Wednesday morning while working for the Jamis Bikes bicycle company, located in the Ludlow Avenue industrial complex adjacent to the Rockleigh Golf Course.

The Bergen County District Attorney’s Office said she was attacked and killed with a hammer.

“It’s barbaric to take someone’s life, but brutally killing someone with a hammer is pretty hard to swallow,” said Bob Press, owner of Changing Heads Salon.

Christian Giron, 24, one of Willem’s colleagues, who lived near Harrington Park, is charged with murder.

Giron reportedly approached Willem in the morning and later admitted to stealing credit cards from him. Authorities said he then took off, changed his clothes and then called 911 himself.

A man’s son went to high school with the suspect.

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“The kids are very shocked because they don’t know much about him,” said Steve Lee.

In a statement, Jamis Bikes called the death insane and tragic, adding: “Jamis Bikes is a tight-knit little group and Jeanette has been a dedicated member of our team for 20 years. We are devastated.

CBS2 spoke to Willem’s family and friends. They weren’t comfortable speaking on camera, but said she was a wonderful person and that they are heartbroken at her death.

Meanwhile, her family set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses.

People who work and live in the borough said they couldn’t believe a brutal murder happened in this tight-knit little neighborhood.

“Unexpected. This city is very, very safe. In, I can say, in the whole world, it is one of the safest places,” Lee said.

They are now sending their prayers to the Willem family.

Giron also faces additional charges, including possession of weapons and obstructing arrest.

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Kiran Dhillon of CBS2 contributed to this report.


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