2 elderly people found dead in home; man charged with murder

AP News
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Posted: Feb 14, 2016 4:34 PM

BRANCHBURG, N.J. (AP) — A call from a distraught, blood-covered man led police to the bodies of two elderly people who were found inside his home, authorities said Sunday.

Ezra Simon-Daniels, 20, of Branchburg Township, New Jersey, faces two counts of first-degree murder, Somerset County prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano said. Bail was set at $2 million for Simon-Daniels, and it wasn't known Sunday if he has retained an attorney.

Simon-Daniels made a 911 call to Readington Township police shortly before 6 a.m. Saturday, Soriano said. Simon-Daniels told them he was in the parking lot of a local business, and responding officers found him covered in blood and sitting in the driver's seat of a car. He did not have any visible wounds on his body, Soriano said.

Readington police soon contacted Branchburg officers and asked them for help in conducting a welfare check at Simon-Daniels home. After knocking several times and getting no response, officers entered the home and found a man and a woman with significant blunt force trauma to their heads.

A preliminary investigation determined that both victims were lying in bed when they were assaulted, Soriano said. The suspected murder weapon, an aluminum baseball bat, was found inside the home.

A possible motive for the slayings has not been disclosed. It also was not clear when the killings occurred.

The names of the victims have not been released, and authorities have not said if either victim was related to Simon-Daniels. Soriano said autopsies will be conducted to confirm their identities and determine the cause and manner of their deaths.

Authorities declined further comment on the case, citing the ongoing investigation.