WEST DEPTFORD - A 28-year-old man was charged with the murder of his parents inside their Gloucester County home on Friday.

Prosecutors say Edward M. Coles, 58, and Rosemarie Coles, 55, became the latest New Jersey residents to fall victim to murderous progeny.

Their son, Ryan Coles, was taken to Inspita Hospital in Woodbury for a medical evaluation. A Superior Court judge set bail at $1 million. He was being held at Salem County Jail.

Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton said Friday police were called by a relative who could not reach the couple by phone on Thursday night. Dalton said Ryan was in the home he shared with his parents when police arrived.

An autopsy done Saturday determined the the couple died from "blunt head trauma."

6ABC.com, citing unnamed sources, reported Ryan may have killed his parents with a chair. The sources told the Philadelphia TV station that Ryan suffered with mental illness and police had been called to the home several times but made no arrests.

The father was the former owner of Coles Music Service in Mantua where he still worked on his first passion of repairing musical instruments.

"Ed's gift of repair has touched many musicians, young and old, over a 40 year period," the store said in a statement posted online. "The Coles Music family will continue his legacy and dedication for instrument repair and music education. We are deeply shocked and saddened by his sudden passing."

"Today a fabulous musician passed from West Deptford High School," Debbie Grigioni said in a message to the West Deptford High School Alumni Band Facebook page.

Parents, grandparents slain

The slaying of the Coles recalls other recent homicides in the state.

In February, 20-year-old Ezra Simon-Daniels was charged with killing his grandparents with an aluminum baseball bat at the Branchburg home they shared. Police were alerted by Simon-Daniels himself, who called 911 from the parking lot of a Walmart on Route 22, not far from the home.

New Jersey 101.5 obtained a copy of the 911 call, on which Simon-Daniels speaks in a confused stupor.

In June, 20-year-old Vishal Shah was charged with shooting his father dead in their home in the Parlin section of Sayreville.

In March, a Piscataway man convicted of shooting and killing his own father in 2007 was sentenced to 24 years in prison. John Mahoney shot his sleeping father, Jerry Mahoney, 49, three times. Mahoney, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, said his father — a police officer and school board member — had been abusive to him.

A Middlesex County jury convicted him of aggravated manslaughter but acquitted him of the more serious murder charge. The jury urged leniency in sentencing, but an appellate court panel ordered the trial judge to not consider the jury's testimony.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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