Welfare check in Clark turns into homicide investigation

CLARK — When Joseph Galfy failed to show up to his law practice in Rahway on Monday morning, people were concerned. The last thing anyone expected was that by 2 p.m. the 70-year-old prominent attorney would be found murdered in his home on Starlite Drive.
Although initially termed a suspicious death by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office late Monday, by 5 p.m. Tuesday the Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that an autopsy proved Galfy’s untimely death was a homicide.

According to Prosecutor Theodore Romankow, the Union County Homicide Task Force and Clark Police are in the early stages of an investigation into the death of the township man.

Romankow said the Union County Medical Examiner concluded from the autopsy that Galfy died of “blunt force trauma.”
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, when the Clark police were called on to perform a welfare check of Galfy, they found a secured home with no forced entry visible, and the body of the Rahway attorney. Soon the culdesac was cordoned off with police tape and a slew of county police vehicles arrived on the scene.

By dusk the Union County Homicide Task Force and Clark police were still on the scene, along with investigators who streamed in and out of the house continually, according to a source who was on the scene. Late Tuesday afternoon, immediately following the release of the autopsy report, Clark Police Chief Alan Scherb explained that police protected the entire scene from the moment they entered the home in the early afternoon.

“We played it up as a crime scene from the start, and it is still an active crime scene. We are still involved with the Union County Homicide Task Force in an investigation, gathering all information that we can,” the police chief said.

Although Scherb could not release any other information regarding the murder, he did say that Galfy had relatives in New Jersey and they were being contacted.

When reached late Tuesday Clark Mayor Sal Bonacourso had just received news of the homicide.
“I would like to say that there was no forced entry. This was not a robbery that went bad. This was obviously someone he let into his home,” said the mayor, adding that he wanted to assure citizens that “there is not a serial killer out there.”

“This is and continues to be a safe community,” Bonacourso said, adding that “hopefully the Clark police and Prosecutor’s Office will bring the person who did this to justice.”

This is the second homicide in the township in the last ten months. In July last year Vera Pecoraro, 73, a well known matriarch of a well-to-do family, was found by her 49-year-old son with her throat slit inside her Rolling Hill Way home. At the time, the Prosecutor’s Office said there was no forced entry, and the resident was not sexually assaulted and robbery did not appear to be the motive.

Although her two sons have been the subject of investigations in the past, with one son involved in a federal case, and neither were helpful to police, no arrests have been made to date and the murder remains unsolved.

Romankow urged anyone with information about the homicide to contact Union County Crimestoppers at 908-0654-TIPS or www.uctip.org. A reward of $5,000 is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of a suspect or suspects in the death of the Clark resident.