CARTERET — A Carteret man was arrested Friday afternoon on charges of strangling an Avenel woman, robbing her and setting her home on fire, Middlesex County First Assistant Prosecutor Julia McClure and Woodbridge Police Chief William Trenery announced.
Harpal Singh, 45, of Carteret was arrested outside his home at 4:21 p.m. Friday and was charged with murder, aggravated arson and robbery in the Feb. 14 death of Balwinder Kaur, 44, of Jansen Avenue in the Avenel section of Woodbridge.
Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz, sitting in New Brunswick, set bail at $2 million for Singh, who was being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick.
An investigation by Detective Shayne Bodnar of the Woodbridge Police Department and Investigator Michael Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Singh, who was an acquaintance of the victim, allegedly strangled her, took items from her and set her home on fire before fleeing.
The investigation began when a passerby saw flames coming from the victim’s home and called 911 at 4:48 p.m. on Feb. 14 Once inside the burning building, firefighters discovered the victim and brought her outside. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
An autopsy by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office subsequently determined Kaur had been strangled.
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