Scotch Plains deaths found to have been result of murder-suicide

An investigation into the deaths of two Scotch Plains residents has revealed that both died of gunshot wounds in what has been determined to have been a murder-suicide, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Monday.

The joint investigation involving the Prosecutor’s Office’s Homicide Task Force and the Scotch Plains Police Department revealed that 48-year-old Jens Elberling fatally shot his 11-year-old son in their home sometime late last week before also fatally shooting himself. That determination was made following autopsies performed Sunday by the Union County Medical Examiner’s Office and the examination of physical evidence and dental records.

Police arrived at a home on the 300 block of Jerusalem Road in Scotch Plains Saturday morning in response to a welfare check request from a family member. Arriving officers found the two bodies inside the home and also recovered a rifle used in the shootings. There were no signs of forced entry.

Elberling’s son was homeschooled and did not attend local public schools.

“This was an unthinkable tragedy that cut short a young life,” Park said. “We want to extend our deepest sympathies to the family at this time.”