Logan Township, NJ

His Wife Left Their House To Get Chinese Food. When She Returned, This US Marine Lay Dead On The Couch.

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished

US Marine Sgt. James SuttonPhoto byGloucester County

It was a typical evening in the High Hill development of Logan Township, New Jersey, where 41-year-old United States Marine Gunnery Sgt. James Sutton lived with his wife, 32-year-old Vivian, and their 7-year-old daughter, Stacy, in their split-level home on Arrowood Place. James worked as the operations chief of recruiting at the 4th Marine Corps Headquarters at the Philadelphia Naval Base, and Vivian worked for a check-cashing business in Philadelphia.

On Friday, November 13, 1992, Vivian returned home from work around 11:30 pm. According to Gloucester County law enforcement, she woke Stacy up to take her to get Chinese food in Philadelphia. Stacy and Vivian got in the car, and Vivian said that she forgot her purse, authorities report. She went back into the house briefly, came back out, and the pair pulled off.

The mother and daughter returned around 12:50 am and found the front door ajar. Vivian walked into the family room on the lower level of their home and found James dead on the couch. He had been shot multiple times.

Authorities found shell casings trailing from the doorway to the couch- as if the killer were walking towards James and shooting him. There were no signs of forced entry, no signs of the home being burglarized, and no weapon.

Authorities questioned Vivian. They conducted a gunshot residue test on her hands, but the results have never been publicly released.

“While many years have passed since Sgt. Sutton’s murder, time and technology can help in the investigation of ‘cold' cases,’ ” GCPO Detective Joan Krucinski told NJ.COM. "The passage of time can help, in that relationships change over the years, and people with information sometimes become more willing to share knowledge than when first interviewed. We are always interested in anyone who knew the victim. Some people may not even know they have critical information.”

No suspects have ever been named in the murder of Sgt. James Sutton and no arrests have ever been made.

If you have any information, please contact the Gloucester County Prosecutor at 856-384-5609.

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