Law enforcement authorities remained mum Wednesday on the suicide of Fair Haven Councilman John Lehnert early Tuesday in the front yard of an Ocean County home.
Deputy chief of detectives Michael Mohel of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office tells redbankgreen that the matter remains under investigation, though foul play is not suspected.
Mole said his office is awaiting the results of post-mortem toxicology tests and an investigation by Jackson Township police.
But he said he would have no comment on why Lehnert was at the Jackson address, whether the handgun used was registered to Lehnert, or if anyone was home at the time.
According to Mohel, the house, on New Castle Court, belonged to a co-worker of Lehnert.
Mohel said the homeowner, whom he did not identify by name, and Lehnert appeared to have been colleagues at an Eatontown security company in which Lehnert may have had an ownership interest. Mohel did not have the name of the firm available late this morning.
The single-story ranch house is near the cul-de-sac end of a shady street lined with modest homes not far from high-tension electricity transmission lines. Ocean County records list it as belonging to Lawrence Modula. Modula could not be located for comment.
The Asbury Park Press reported yesterday that at 11p on Monday, Lehnert’s wife had reported him missing to Fair Haven police, after she found a note expressing a suicidal intention. Mohel confirmed the accuracy of that report today.
A New Castle Court resident resident who asked not to be identified told redbankgreen she heard what turned out to be the gunshot around midnight, but mistook it for the sound of a dumpster lid being slammed at an adjoining condo complex. “Then I got up around 5:30 and saw police outside,” she said.
Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre said he was unaware that Lehnert had a job. A 46-year-old former borough policeman, Lehnert had retired from the department after 14 years in 2006 following an injury incurred during a an altercation with a suspect. He had recently graduated from New York Law School and was awaiting the results of the bar exam, which he took in July, Halfacre said.
Meantime, Lehnert told him at the annual Firemen’s Fair earlier this month that he’d gotten a job, presumably pending the results of the exam, Halfacre said.
Borough flags are flying at half-staff in Lehnert’s memory, and borough hall will be closed on the day of services, which had not been arranged by the family as of this morning, Halfacre said.