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Murder in Monroe: Man Arrested on Charges of Killing Stepfather

Autopsy: Fatal Injuries Were "Chopping Wounds" to The Head
Garvey Drive
The scene of the crime was 5 Garvey Drive in Monroe Township. Bing Maps

MONROE, NJ—Authorities announced on January 5 that a man was arrested after allegedly killing his 46-year-old stepfather.

Joao C. Torres, age 26, is accused of killing his stepfather, Christopher Ernst Sr., the 46-year-old man who owned a home along with Torres' mother.

Torres' allegedly left Ernst's body in the garage of the home they shared at 5 Garvey Drive in Monroe Township, where police found Ernst's body. 

An investigation run by detective Joseph Silvestri of the Monroe Township Police Department (MTPD) and Detective Craig Marchak of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) led police to the arrest after they received a concerned call that the 26-year-old hadn’t come in to work on January 4.

Ernst had allegedly been killed by an unidentified weapon that was used on his head, said the MCPO, adding that “An autopsy... described the injuries as chopping wounds to the head.”

Torres remains at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick, one of the first defendants to be detained pretrial with no bail whatsoever under a new system that went into effect January 1.

He also faces additional charges of “obstruction and resisting arrest” after being located miles aways in a wooded area according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

The motive for the killing is still unknown.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Silvestri of the MTPD at (732) 521-0222, extension 151, or Detective Marchak of the MCPO at (732) 745-3254.