Authorities say a veteran Ocean County Prosecutor's Office detective who was facing child sexual assault charges apparently committed suicide this weekend.
Executive Assistant County Prosecutor Michael Palhus tells the Asbury Park Press of Neptune that Sgt. Ronald Velardi's body was found around 3 a.m. Sunday in a wooded area of Stafford Township, where Velardi lived.
Palhus said authorities had received "information" that led them to start searching for Velardi on Saturday night, but would not provide further details.
Velardi, who had served with the prosecutor's office for many years, had been suspended after his arrest in June. He faced four counts of sexual assault and three counts of child endangerment in a case that authorities say involved two girls.