FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the death of Freehold Township Education Foundation’s former chairwoman, Denise Bartone, officially calling it “a homicide.”
Authorities and a letter from Freehold Township Schools’ superintendent confirmed earlier today, Feb. 4, the death of Denise Bartone, simply calling it a “suspicious incident.”
The prosecutor’s office offered a social media update to the investigation at approximately 4:40 p.m. on Feb. 4, stating that they, “along with the Freehold Township Police Department and with the assistance of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Woodbridge Police Department and Sayreville Police Department are investigating the homicide this morning of Denise Bartone, inside her 123 Koster Drive home in Freehold Township.”
In the early hours of Feb. 4, authorities discovered a vehicle registered to the Bartone family parked on the Thomas Edison Memorial Bridge in Woodbridge. Denise Bartone’s husband, Kenneth Bartone, was later found floating in the Raritan River, dead of an apparent suicide.
“We do not believe there is any further danger to the public. The investigation remains ongoing at this time,” stated the prosecutor’s office.
A letter was also sent out to Freehold Township School District parents by Superintendent Neil Dickstein on Feb. 4, informing of Bartone’s death.
“Today I was informed by the Freehold Township Police that there was a death involving a prominent member of our school community. As reported by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, there was an incident in a Freehold Township neighborhood which has resulted in the passing of Mrs. Denise Bartone,” the letter read.
Bartone had daughters in the Freehold school district, according to Dickstein.
Superintendent Dickstein added that, in an effort to support the students and school community, “the district has made arrangements for additional counselors and child study team members to be available for students tomorrow.”
A prayer vigil will be held this evening at 7 p.m. at the Co-Cathedral of Saint Robert Bellarmine, 61 Georgia Road in Freehold.
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Andrea Tozzi at 1-800-733-7443 or Freehold Township Police Detective James Burdge at 732-462-7908.