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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.

jerzey January 30, 2013 at 08:43 PM
who cares what the reason was. They aren't here anymore & unfortunately good or bad there is a reason for everything. You don't choose your path it choses you.
Selene January 30, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Thank you Patch. Citizens have a right to know. So many crimes are not reported to the news, probably more than half. Why? What happened to the Police Blotters? High crime rates are symptomatic of other social ills. We can stay informed as a community or we can hide in our homes and watch reality tv. Keep reporting Patch.
kellie January 31, 2013 at 03:04 AM
yes he murdered her, my friend. It has left me broken hearted not to mention her family. He was no thug though. He loved her more than I have ever seen a man love a woman. He snapped for a reason we will never know. SOMETHING happened between them. I know he had instant regret which led to taking his own life. I know this in my bones. I was very close to HER. I loved her with all my heart. He would not be able to live with himself for doing what he did, thats why he took his own life. No doubt in my mind. He couldnt face his kids or her family after that.
Alexis January 31, 2013 at 03:23 AM
I would just like to say that reading through these comments really upset me. I am very good friends with Rosaria's cousin, and I know that this family has dealt with a lot of loss recently. My dad talked to Chester back in January. He didn't know him well but said he seemed like a great guy. Something obviously happened to set him off. For strangers, it really does not matter. Overall, they were greatpeople. All we now neeed to focus on is praying and suportng their children and family. This investigation need to be left for the cops to handle and family to know about. We do not need to know the details. Who and why are you to judge when you have no idea who these individuals are? Comments like the ones above are the last thing a grieving dfamily needs to worry about.
Heidi January 31, 2013 at 12:21 PM
So so true, Reality Chuck....He MURDERED ..his wife...I am a little disappointed about the fact we are hearing so much about him..what a great cop, great guy, etc. him, him, him....what about her...she will never see her children graduate college, get married, etc....it was so nice to see a story about her this morning. Why did he have to bring HER into this...God bess you Rosaria and may your children have the strength from God to move on......
Frank M. January 31, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Above all my sincere condolences and deepest sympathy go out to the children and families that will forever be affected by this tragedy. It is sickening and so very inappropriate to mention what Chet’s pension was and the cost of his home!!! Yet there is no mention or calling for what we as a community can do for the children and family. SHAME ON YOU PATCH!!!!
jazzman January 31, 2013 at 09:14 PM
you asked the question,... why did his work call the police having only been missing for hours,he might have called his work letting them know what he was about to do or or more then likely....did,they do that sometimes so as not to be found by anyone other the law inforcement and specially not family members or friends.
roger February 01, 2013 at 01:46 AM
come on just couldnt say hope your happy with your new life ,the kids,,, showing face w/ peers is not worth this,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, rip,,,,,,,,,,
Tammy February 01, 2013 at 01:57 AM
We remember Office Chet at our many Block Parties on his bike, yellow shirt and shorts. He always discussed DARE with all the children and providing great lessons to them. God Bless his children for this will be a tough, tough road ahead. May God keep them strong.
Old School February 01, 2013 at 02:45 AM
.Can we please stop glorifying the cops as some sort of heroic class of people who sacrifice themselves for society. Many of them are just in it for the phenomenal pay and benefits. The real heroes are the property tax payers who provide them with a great lifestyle that allows for retirement at age 41 with full medical coverage.
Mary B February 01, 2013 at 01:50 PM
He murdered her because she was leaving him - This is a fact she told him back in Dec she wanted out of the marriage - he wanted to work it out - the reason they police were called so early was because he has a friend that knew things were not going well for Chet so when he did not show up at work the friend called the police - I am also seeing all the post all over Facebook and on the papers covering it what a great guy he was - Do all great guys kill their wives ??..They are making him out to be a hero and forgetting what he did to Rosaria-As for anyone getting upset about all the comments being made - well this is public news and the public will comment - if it was not public there would be no comments - I feel for the kids that have to live with this for the rest of their lives - and for the mother and her family that lost her to such violence and for selfish reasons - I guess he figured if he could not have her no one else would - and killing himself was the cowards way out - he is anything but a good guy or a hero - and yes I went to school with him and I wish all my classmates would stop posting on FB what a great he was - was being the key word here .
Barbara February 01, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Before you start saying things in general about cops, you should do your research and get your facts straight. Not all cops retire with full medical coverage (it depends on their contract), and there are cops that are in the occupation for things other than the pay and benefits. It's people like you that give good cops a bad image. I personally knew Chet and he was a great person (and cop) and something must have gone terribly wrong for this to happen. It's sad for everyone involved, especially their children. May God give them strength.
Nitsuj February 02, 2013 at 03:01 AM
If being a cop is so easy, why dont you join up.
jerzey February 02, 2013 at 12:50 PM
Mary u just contributed to all the comments by letting the public know info they don't need to know. The children knew this information and that is all that matters. Not what the public thinks. Like I said, until you have gone thru this no one shld be opening their mouth as to what is right & what is not to report. It all hurts.
Hilda February 02, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Please to the public, remember the children and their families and friends are all hurting because of this tragic loss. I wish that everyone would be more considerate and sympathetic at this time. Please, stop the blaming and harsh remarks, lets pray for the children and other family members as this is a trying time for all!
sully1227 February 02, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Hey Mary B, I worked with Chet, and one thing I can tell you for sure was that he unequivovally loved his wife. Without speculating on the reason for whatever happened, It happened. So enough of the hateful comments and let the kids bury their parents in peace
jerzey February 02, 2013 at 08:20 PM
First of all it isn't until a min of age 46 they can retire & it isn't with full medical so get your facts straight. You have no idea what they see everyday especially in your town of Parsippany. What they bring home to their families, what their families deal with when they are not there. Before you run your mouth, try putting on a vest everyday wondering if today will be your last. To top it off, the life expectancy of a cop is age 56! That means IF they retire at 46 - 10 yrs of retirement & that is if they can afford to leave at 25 yrs.
Ariana February 02, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Sully, seriously, do you really think we should give pity to Chet for blowing out his beautiful wifes face? What he may have been to co-workers is NOT the man he was behind closed doors... Do you think our comments here will not bring peace to the children? They have a lot more emotional damage to deal with then reading the PATCH!
sully1227 February 03, 2013 at 01:34 AM
Ariana I never said anything about giving pity to chet about what he did. And your comment about the way he was behind closed doors is pure speculation On your part. Unless you were there. And as far as the kids are concerned, you are right it will be caring emotional baggage for the rest of their lives.
Lauren February 03, 2013 at 03:56 PM
I wish they would just shut down this comment forum!! Offer condolences only!!! DO NOT SPECULATE. What the heck does it matter anyway, the only truth or facts we know is that they are gone and two children have to live with this for the rest of their lives. STOP THE COMMENTS!!!!!
Par Girl February 03, 2013 at 06:41 PM
people change for the good amd for the not so good. He probably was a great cop and a great guy and they probably did a a great marriage but we change and she may have had a different path in mind and he was not able to deal with the possibiility of the outcome. Being in a position to understand (divorced and remarried to someone that was divored) I have so much compassion for the children and for the privacy of the family. Keep the positive side and hope that the suffering for the kids will be overcome with blessing and faith. Good friends and lots of love. Wish that he is forgiven and that she is in a better place. We are not hear to judge.
sharon February 03, 2013 at 07:33 PM
To all, let's gives prayers and blessing to the children's first and to the parents of Ariana and Chet. These individuals has a lot to deal with. Please be mindful and caring in these trying times.
Ariana February 03, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Sharon, her name is Rosaria... not Ariana
Jennifer Wright February 04, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Mary you went to school with Chet I guess he was never ur friend!!! Did he leave a letter at ur house explaining why he did what he did? I'm sure his family is still trying to put the pieces together maybe they could call u since u have the answers! I'm with ParResident they should close off comments to sympathy and condolences!!! I knew Chet he was a great guy something went terribly wrong and the only ppl that know what happened at this point are he and his wife lets let his family grieve and they rip!!!what happened to if u don't have anything nice to say don't say anything
Freddie February 06, 2013 at 02:46 AM
Freddie F. I went to school with Chet and knew him better than most. We were a close group for many years Chet, John Andalora, and myself. He had a loving family and Great sister Lisa. Instead of your unfounded judgement of him, as we will never know what really went on at home. How about thinking about their children. My thoughts and prayers go out to Chet and Rosaria's families. Stop the BS! Stop the speculation and if you have nothing to say that helps the kids and family, keep it to yourself.
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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