Prosecutor: Man’s death was a homicide


HOWELL – The cause of death of a man whose body was found on Hurley Pond Road in Howell on Oct. 18 has been ruled a homicide.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced the cause of death on Oct. 20. The man was identified as Domingo Merino Rafael, 33, of Lakewood.

Howell police responded to a 911 call at 3:46 a.m. Oct. 18. The caller reported seeing an unconscious man laying in Hurley Pond Road just east of Route 547. Police officers responded and found the man.

MONOC personnel also responded to the scene. Authorities said the man was pronounced dead at 4:12 a.m. by doctors at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, using a remote device.

Rafael was taken to the Middlesex County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office and a post-mortem examination was performed on Oct. 20. The cause of death was ruled to be a homicide, Gramiccioni said.

An investigation is continuing into the circumstances surrounding Rafael’s death.

On the evening of Oct. 18, an incident occurred at a home in Farmingdale during which two people died. Gramiccioni said there is no connection between Rafael’s death and the incident in Farmingdale.