PLAINFIELD, NJ — Eric Beale of Plainfield has been arrested and charged with stabbing his ex-wife to death at the home they shared, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Monday.

Beale, 56, is charged with first-degree murder and related weapons offenses in connection with the killing of 56-year-old Marlene Martin.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 30, Plainfield Police Division patrol units responding to a request for a welfare check of Martin at her home on the 900 block of West 6th Street in Plainfield found her body in the backyard, according to the prosecutor's office. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

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An investigation conducted by the Union County Homicide Task Force and assisted by the Plainfield Police Division and Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit resulted in Beale being quickly identified as a suspect.  He was arrested without incident shortly thereafter. Beale was lodged in Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing, which will be held later this week.

Anyone with information about this matter is urged to contact Task Force Detective Brendan Sullivan at 908-966-0999.

Convictions on murder charges are commonly punishable by 30 years to life in state prison.