West Deptford Man Charged With Parents’ Deaths

An autopsy determined the couple died from blunt head trauma

A 28-year-old man has been charged with beating his mother and father to death inside the family's West Deptford, New Jersey, home, police said.

Ryan Coles faces homicide charges in the deaths of Edward and Rosemarie Coles.

A member of the family found the couple's bodies after stopping by their Pennfield Drive home Friday. Police said they went to the house after being unable to get hold of them over the phone Thursday night.

Police said Ryan Coles was in the house when they arrived. He was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation and later charged in the deaths. He was placed in Salem County Jail Saturday on default of $1 million bail. It's not clear if he has retained an attorney.

Family photo / West Salem Correctional Facility

An autopsy performed Saturday determined the couple died from blunt head trauma and their deaths were ruled a homicide.

Edward, 58, and 55-year-old Rosemarie Coles formerly owned a well-known music store — Coles Music Service — in the community.

"It's been a shock. It's been a rough day," said Lauralee Houghton, Ed's cousin. She bought the business from him in 2012, but he regularly worked in the store fixing instruments, she said.

"We have customers come specifically to us because of Ed's work and reputation," she said. "I'll just miss Ed's sense of humor."

Houghton said she didn't know Ryan well and that she never worked with him.

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