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Murder, Suicide Ruled in Deaths of Ex-Cop, Wife

Chester and Rosaria Andraka called a 'perfect couple' found dead inside their Parsippany home.

A former Caldwell Police sergeant committed suicide and his wife was murdered inside their Parsippany home, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office said.

Chester Andraka, 46, committed suicide with a single gunshot wound and his wife, Rosaria Andraka, 43, was killed by "gunshot wounds inflicted upon her," according to a brief statement released Tuesday evening by Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp.

The causes of the deaths were determined following an investigation and autopsies conducted by the Morris County Medical Examiner, Knapp said.

No further information was released.

The Andrakas, who were found inside their Medford Road home, were considered a "perfect couple," according to Karen Delli Santi, of West Caldwell, who grew up in Bloomfield just a few doors down from Chester Andraka.

“Everyone knew him,” she said. “He was a great friend to everyone.”

Chester and Rosaria Andraka were found dead Monday morning from inside their Medford Road home just down the street from Parsippany Hills High School.

Parsippany Police officers discovered the bodies during a welfare check after Chester Andraka did not arrive at work, Knapp said.

Chester Andraka, a 1984 Bloomfield High School grad, was a member of the Caldwell Police Department from 1991 until he retired in 2009 with an annual pension of $67,015.32, according to a 2011 report from the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS).

When Andraka became a police officer in Caldwell, he often stopped by Caldwell Flowerland, the shop Delli Santi owns with her husband. Andraka routinely attended parties there with his wife and the old Bloomfield crowd.

Delli Santi remembers the Andrakas as a loving couple who were close to their children.

“His wife was so beautiful inside and out—a true sweet person,” Delli Santi said. “They were the perfect couple and family. I am heartbroken and numb.”

Andraka retired in November 2009 as a detective/sergeant under former Caldwell Police Chief Kurt Dombrowski.

“Chet Andraka performed all the duties expected of him,” said Dombrowski, who retired last year. "He was an asset to the police department in the community relations field and I’m sure he will truly be missed by all."

Dombrowski said he last spoke to his former officer in January 2012, when Andraka called him to congratulate him on his own retirement.

“Our deepest condolences and our hearts go out to the family members,” Dombrowski said.

After retiring from the police force, Andraka joined Novartis in 2012 after working as a contractor for the East Hanover company for two years.

Andraka was also a part-time adjunct instructor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Rosaria Andraka was also employed at FDU as an advisor and the honors program administrator, according to her LinkedIn profile.

The couple purchased their Medford Road home in November 2008 for $480,000.

The home on the quiet street off Brooklawn Road, just a short distance from Route 202, remained cordoned off with police tape Tuesday morning.

Several neighbors who were home declined to comment on the incident.

Dory Degen February 06, 2013 at 03:50 AM
I care what the reason was....which is domestic violence. He murdered his wife. Wouldn't you be even the teeniest bit angry at him had he not killed himself? Condolences of course are felt for the families. But among the mix of feelings must be some anger over his choice to take her out with him. A selfish, rageful act that will leave everyone who knew Rose with unanswered questions and an empty feeling forever. Prior to this bout of rage or whatever happened, nice guy or not, had he not chosen to kill himself he would be in jail charged with murder.
Dory Degen February 06, 2013 at 04:04 AM
I agree. I am astounded at the lack of response (until now) of the fact that he killed his wife. The fact that they were married and that he seemed like a nice person with friends and family adds to the confusion. But he pointed his gun at the person he loved and shot her multiple times. That is a horredous thing to do and I am furious at him. How dare he kill this woman? Being married doesn't make it okay. This is 2013. This is called domestic violence. It isn't okay to kill your wife when you spin out of control in a fit of rage, jealousy, or an intense reaction to contemplation of being left or any other reason you can come up with. It is outrageously selfish and heartbreaking. Those poor children. But mostly this poor beautiful loving mother had her life taken from her by the one perso n who promised to protect and cherish her. How can anyone deny people feelings of anger for this man? He did a very bad thing. Another mother, wife, daughter, sister dead from domestic violence. So completely sad and pointless. RIP Rose.
Dory Degen February 06, 2013 at 04:14 AM
People keep saying "something went terribly wrong," as if that rationalizes the murder of a woman. The terribly wrong thing is his choice to murder his wife and take her away from her children and everyone else. Don't dismiss anyone's feelings by saying it is none of our business and all we should be doing right now is paying condolences. Part of supporting a grieving family is validating what they must be feeling......confused, overwhelmed, numb with grief, and yes, angry at Chet's outrageous act of violence.
Jennifer Wright February 06, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Thank u Freddie well said
Paul Down Road February 07, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Right. What's left to speculate about? I'm sure there was a struggle and he thought she had a gun. He had no choice. The lighting was bad. We've heard all these stories before from the police.

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