BRICK – It was a crime scene shrouded in mystery with virtually no information released to the public. Authorities did say that a 55-year-old man was murdered in Brick Township last week. Now, things have become more clear as Ocean County law enforcement officials announce the arrests of two men who have been charged in the brutal murder. One of the men was actually the victim’s son in a terrible case of patricide.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Brick Township Police Chief James Riccio said 28-year-old Mark J. Austin of Brick Township and 27-year-old Jeray Melton of Salem City and have been charged with murder in the death of Mark Richard Austin.
According to authorities, Brick Township Police were called to an Acorn Drive residence on Saturday, September 7. That’s where they discovered the body of the elder Austin. It was determined that he had been beaten to death. Following a thorough and extensive investigation involving multiple law enforcement agencies, it was determined that Mr. Austin’s son, Mark J. Austin, and Jeray Melton conspired to murder the victim.
“The victim, Mr. Austin suffered serious injuries from a savage beating that caused his death,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “This investigation was very complex and the detectives in our Major Crime Unit and in the Brick Township Police Department did an amazing job of following leads and putting this case together,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.
In addition to murder charges, both Austin and Melton face murder conspiracy and weapons charges. Both are lodged in the Ocean County Jail.
Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Riccio would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance in bringing Melton and Austin to justice, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech and Economic Crime Units, Brick Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, Salem City Police Department, Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit, New Jersey State Police TEAMS Unit, New Jersey Department of Corrections, Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey, Manchester Township Police Department, Millville Police Department, Bayonne Police Department and The Federal Bureau of Investigation.