For Immediate Release
December 19, 2012
Union County Prosecutor’s Office
Union County Homicide Task Force Investigating the Death of a Mother and her Child Following a Fire in Scotch Plains
The Union County Homicide Task Force is investigating the death of a mother and her child following a fire in Scotch Plains on Tuesday evening, said Prosecutor Theodore Romankow.
Around 7:15 pm. The Scotch Plains Police and Fire departments were dispatched to a residence on Church Road. When the arrived they found Katherine Halverson, DOB 4/15/80 her son Jeremy McDonald Jr. DOB 08/09/09 and their dog in a bedroom on the second level of the house.
The mother and child were transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead a short time later. The dog was deceased at the scene.
An autopsy of the victims was conducted this morning and revealed that the manner of death was a homicide/suicide. The cause of death was asphyxiation due to inhalation of combustible materials.
At this point in the investigation it appears that Halverson closed herself and the child in a small bedroom room and set fire to the room.
The Union County Homicide Task Force continues to investigate and additional information will be released as it becomes available.