A tragedy took place just before 1:00 am Sunday in Manchester Township where a domestic violence incident claimed two lives.

Manchester Police got a 9-1-1 call from the 9a Lexington Drive home in the Whiting section around 12:57 am from a male caller who said he had killed his wife and was threatening to then kill himself.

Responding officers tried but weren't successfully able to make contact with Ernest Greaves, 82, before finding the front door unlocked and promptly entered the home.

That's when officers found Beverly Greaves, 80, dead from an apparent homicide and Ernest sitting in a recliner chair in the living room holding a handgun to his chin.

Ernest sadly ignored an order to drop the gun and discharged the weapon, killing himself.

Emergency Medical aid pronounced the Greaves couple deceased.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and Manchester Police Chief Lisa Parker launched an investigation alongside the Manchester Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department (CSI).

They along with the Ocean County Medical Examiner made the official determination that Ernest killed Beverly prior to taking his own life.

The Ocean County medical examiner ruled that his death was caused by the gunshot and the manner of death was suicide.

Beverly's death was caused by blunt head trauma inflicted by a hammer found at the scene and that the manner of death was homicide.

Prosecutor Coronato and Chief Parker hope to raise awareness of the fact that domestic violence for senior couples is becoming all too common.

Here is a joint statement courtesy of the OCPO.

"Although experts say the numbers are tough to track for those over 45, there is no doubt many seniors inlong-term relationships are suffering in silence without seeking help for domestic abuse. 

Recently, more than 39,000 of the calls received in the last two years at the National Domestic Violence Hotline came from people over age 45, and it is clear that abuse can escalate as couples get older and their children leave home.

Our partnering agencies want to make it clear to Ocean County’s large senior population that there are many options for help. 

Domestic abuse can never be justified no matter how many years of marriage a couple shares,"

They've also given out contact information for agencies ready to help in these matters:

  • Providence House Domestic Violence Services - 24 Hour Hotline - (732) 244-8259 (800) 246-8910
  • Adult Protective Services - Board of Social Services - (732) 349-1500
  • Francis Counseling Services - Sexual Abuse & Assault Program - 4700 Long Beach Blvd. - Long Beach Twp., NJ 08008 - (609) 494-1090
  •  General help/crisis intervention help line for Ocean County - (732) 240-6100
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-7233 - 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

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