Manalapan man found fatally shot in car at Hopewell Valley Nature Preserve


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The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and Hopewell Township police are investigating the death of a 20-year-old Manalapan man whose body was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of a car in the Hopewell Valley Nature Preserve Dec. 17.

Hopewell Township police officers responded to the scene at 7 p.m. and discovered a white Mercedes-Benz C300 car on a trail in the nature preserve, off Harbourton-Woodsville Road, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. The Monmouth County man, identified as Phillip Urban, had suffered a gunshot wound.

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The preliminary investigation indicated that the victim had arranged to meet an acquaintance at the nature preserve, and was shot as some point during the encounter, the prosecutor’s office said. He was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, where he was pronounced dead.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at 609-989-6406 or the Hopewell Township Police Department at 609-737-3100, ext. 5740. Information can be emailed to

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