Police & Fire

Murder in Holmdel: Investigation Underway with Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office

HOLMDEL, NJ — Tragedy has struck in Holmdel and most acutely for the three precious young children of parents Arshad Zarak and Asma Hussain of Holmdel. They are the innocents who are facing the unimaginable pain of having both of their parents stolen away from an act of barbarity.

Both parents were killed by gunshot wounds within their new Toll Brothers home in Holmdel at 4 Paddington Court. Paddington Court and its environs are being built on the former Lucent Technologies land that is part of the over 400 acre land parcel off of Crawfords Corner Road in Holmdel.

The Holmdel Township Police Department received a 911 call from a teenage male at about 1:20 p.m. on August 10. The caller reported finding the couple unresponsive in the master bedroom of their home at 4 Paddington Court in the neighborhood known as The Reserve at Holmdel. Police immediately responded to the residence and located a deceased male lying in his bed and a deceased female lying on the floor. The male was identified as 52-year-old Arshad Zarak and the female was identified as 42-year-old Asma Hussain.

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Holmdel Police immediately contacted the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) and a joint investigation was launched into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the couple. The Monmouth County Prosecutors Office released the cause as appearing to be the result of a murder-suicide. This was announced by Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni. During the course of the investigation, police discovered a single firearm in the hand of Mrs. Hussain, who had been lying face down on the floor of the master bedroom.  No other weapons were discovered within close proximity of either of the deceased.

Post-mortem examinations were conducted upon both deceased at the Middlesex County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office on August 11. Mr. Zarak died as a result of two gunshot wounds to the head, and Mrs. Hussain died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head. 

As a result of the investigation and in conjunction with the autopsy findings, they believe, at this time, Mrs. Hussain shot her husband two times, causing his death and then killed herself with a single gunshot. Further investigation will expand on that. Significant forensic and investigative work remains critical to ensure that the initial appearances are accurate. There are historical cases where appearances of murder suicide end up as something else.

If anyone has any information to share regarding the investigation, they can contact Detective Patrick Petruzziello of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 800-533-7443 or Detective Andrew Kret of the Holmdel Police Department at 732-946-4400.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Red Bank Field Office, assisted the investigative team by providing crucial translation.

The Superintendent of Holmdel Schools has issued a resource statement for parents to consider for their families during this tragic moment. It is excerpted below:

While no resource available can address the specific circumstance of this tragic event with which our community is currently faced, our partners at the Traumatic Loss Coalition have provided some resources that parents and educators may find helpful. You can access these by clicking here.  I also wanted to offer the following contacts to you should you or anyone you know need them:

  • 2nd Floor Youth Helpline: 888‐222‐2228
  • Family Crisis Intervention Unit: 732‐542‐2444
  • Traumatic Loss Coalition: 732‐956-7782
  • Monmouth Cares: 877‐652‐7624
  • New Jersey Hopeline: 855-654-6735
  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

Editors Note - if a Go Fund Me or other arrangement for the children is known, please email jwall@tapinto.net so it can be publicized. Thank you.

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