OFFICE OF THE
UNION COUNTY
PROSECUTOR
FOR EMERGENCIES, DIAL 911 Immediately 

Andrew K. RuOTOLO, JR. Justice CENTER
32 Rahway Avenue, elizabeth, NJ 07202

908-527-4500    ucpo@ucnj.org
Michael A. Monahan
Acting Prosecutor

Press Release

For Immediate Release: December 19, 2012

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.

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