Branchburg, NJ – Officials announced today that a 20-year-old Branchburg man has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Ezra Simon-Daniels, 20, is being held in the Somerset County Jail with bail set at $2 million.
In a press release, Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano said a preliminary investigation reveals that Simon-Daniels killed an elderly man and woman – whom he did not identify – with an aluminum baseball bat as they were lying on a bed in Simon-Daniels’ Readington Road home.
According to the press release:
Investigators were led to the victims after a “distraught” Simon-Daniels called 911 around 6 a.m. yesterday reporting that he was in the Walmart parking lot on Route 22 in the Whitehouse section of Readington Township. When Readington police arrived, they found him in the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle and covered in blood. He had no visible wounds on his body.
Readington police then asked their Branchburg counterparts to assist in conducting a welfare check at Simon-Daniels’ home. After knocking several times and getting no response, police entered the house and found the “apparent homicide’ victims “had significant blunt force trauma to their heads.” Branchburg and Readington Township Officers secured the property as a crime scene. The bat was found inside the house.
Detectives from the Branchburg Police Department, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Somerset County Crime Scene Investigations and Forensic Unit responded to conduct the investigation. An investigator from the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office also responded to assist.
Post-mortem examinations of the victims will be conducted by the New Jersey Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office to confirm their identities, cause and manner of death.
Soriano’s press release was issued jointly with Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Timothy M. Fitzgerald, Branchburg Township Chief of Police David Young and Readington Township Chief of Police Sebastian Donaruma.