Jul 30, 2014
Partly Cloudy

Murder, Suicide Ruled in Deaths of Professor, Wife

Chester and Rosaria Andraka, both FDU staff members who were called a 'perfect couple' found dead inside their Parsippany home.

Murder, Suicide Ruled in Deaths of Professor, Wife Murder, Suicide Ruled in Deaths of Professor, Wife Murder, Suicide Ruled in Deaths of Professor, Wife

A Fairleigh Dickinson University adjunct professor committed suicide and his wife—an advisor and department administrator at the school—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.

Don’t miss updates from Patch!