By Robin Rieger
GOSHEN, NJ (CBS) – Holly Schlender says she is haunted by her brother Thomas Schlender’s final moments.
“I can’t get the vision of my brother alone at night in that truck. I don’t know if he was scared, what happened,” she says.
Seventy-four-year-old Thomas Schlender, who grew up on his family’s farm in Goshen, Cape May County, where Holly still lives, was shot to death on May 8th along a stretch of Interstate 55 in Mississippi. His pickup truck was found crashed into the median. Five shell casings were found on the highway, and Schlender was found inside his truck, shot multiple times.
“I called Tommy’s cell phone and got the message. I told him it wasn’t true,
I told him I loved him,” Schlender says.
Investigators believe Schlender’s shooting, and one of a 48-year-old female driver on another Mississippi highway three days later, may be the work of someone posing as a police officer.
“I just am angry, I can’t even think or imagine,” Holly says.
Thomas had three daughters and lived in Nebraska with his wife. He was driving to Florida to pick up his grandson from college. And every September, he would come home to Goshen.
“He would help me on farm here, clean things up,” his sister explains. “I always had a big brother even though he was far away.”
Now, she remembers what she loved most about him:
“He was a caring, kind, wonderful person.”
Schlender’s funeral is set for Thursday in Nebraska, and his sister is planning a local memorial service for neighbors and old friends.