ASBURY PARK, N.J. (AP) — Calling her a beautiful person who always practiced forgiveness, friends and family bid farewell Monday to a woman who authorities say was fatally shot by her recently divorced husband, a police officer at the Jersey Shore.
Hundreds packed into the Holy Spirit Church in Asbury Park for the funeral of Tamara Seidle. Among them was Vilma Roldan, who used to lead religious education classes and work with Seidle.
"She was beautiful," Roldan told the Asbury Park Press. "She always had a smile."
Seidle's former husband, Neptune Township Sgt. Phillip Seidle, faces murder, weapons and child endangerment charges. She was shot and killed in her car Tuesday morning after authorities say her former husband chased after her with their 7-year-old daughter in his car.
The couple had nine children, ranging in age from 7 to 24, and their divorce was finalized late last month. Authorities say the shooting apparently was spurred by an ongoing child custody dispute.
None of the children spoke at the funeral.
In his eulogy, Father Miguel Virella described Tamara Seidle, 51, as a dedicated servant of the Parish who overcame struggles and embraced forgiveness, whose smile shined day after day.
"This is not the end," Virella said. "Because at this moment, like I said in the beginning, we pray for Tami. We pray now ... because now she's in the company of all men and women — safe with God, safe to serve the Lord."
Phillip Seidle remains jailed on $2 million cash bail. He had served on the Neptune force for 22 years, but was suspended without pay following his arrest.
Monmouth County prosecutors have said Seidle was off-duty when the shooting occurred.
They say that after he fired several shots into his ex-wife's car, he put the gun to his head and started pacing as authorities got the couple's daughter out of his car. Seidle then fired several more shots through the front windshield of his wife's vehicle, prosecutors said.
He then held the gun to his head and kept police at bay for nearly 30 minutes before he surrendered, prosecutors said.