NJ son, accused of murdering his parents, captured playing blackjack
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP (Warren) — The son of a couple found dead in their home on Sunday night has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with their deaths.
Todd S. Warner, 50, had been wanted for questioning as a person of interest in the homicides of Frank N. Warner and Joyanne J. Warner inside their Washington Township home on Sunday night, Warren County Prosecutor Richard Burke told New Jersey 101.5 on Monday. Police at that point had not publicly identified him as a suspect, but said at the time he was considered armed and dangerous because his parents had been killed.
The couple owned the Frank Anthony beauty salon in Chester, Morris County.
At a press conference streamed by Lehigh Valley Live on Tuesday Burke said Todd Warner, who lived in the couple's home, was taken into custody on Monday at the at the Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania and is awaiting extradition back to New Jersey.
Burke also presented a timeline of some of the events that led to Todd Warner's arrest.
Burke said officers said officers responded to the home late Sunday afternoon after receiving a 911 call from a family member who looked in a window and saw Frank Warner, 73, sitting in a chair with a covering over his head. Authorities have not said who that family member was.
Officers made forced entry into rear of the home on Peregrine Drive and also found his wife Joyanne, 73, in a first-floor bedroom, according to the prosecutor. Burke said both has suffered "significant trauma" from an assault.
Burke earlier said no gun was involved in the homicide and Todd Warner was not believed to be armed. The prosecutor said a knife and two baseball bats were found inside the home by investigators.
An autopsy by the Morris County Medical Examiner determined that the husband and wife both died from multiple blunt force trauma.
A credit card belonging to Frank Warner and a Kia Soul were both missing, Burke said. The Kia was found at the Wind Creek (formerly known as the Sands) Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where Todd Warner had used the credit card to get a $1,000 cash advance, according to the prosecutor.
A Pennsylvania state police officer on duty at the Parx Casino took Todd Warner into custody around 4 p.m. on Monday.
According to a report by LeeHighValleyLive.com, Todd Warner had been playing blackjack at the casino when he was captured. It cited court records saying hew was put on a live surviellance as authorities compared this video feed to images of Todd Warner, and because at the time he was still considered armed and dangerous, “Warner was taken backwards off his chair and placed into custody without incident."
Burke said Todd Warner was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose and two counts of possession of an unlawful weapon were filed.
Todd Warner also faces a charge of receiving stolen property in Pennsylvania, the prosecutor said.
Burke did not offer a motive for the homicide. He said Todd Warner has given a statement to police but Burke did not reveal its contents.
The couple's salon his hosting a bereavement for customers and friends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, according to its Facebook page. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
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