Invisible Children

Thomas Elberling

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

thomas elberling
Thomas Elberling, age 11, was shot to death by his father, Jens Elberling, who then committed suicide. Thomas had been homeschooled for the past two years.

Thomas was recognized internationally as a chess champion and was ranked fifth in his age group in the US. Jens Elberling and Thomas’s mother, Kate Chou, filed for divorce in May 2014 and were fighting for custody of Thomas because they disagreed about his education—Elberling believed Thomas should continue to be homeschooled, while Chou disagreed, “stating in court papers her son had repeatedly asked to attend a public school.” Chou was preparing to enroll Thomas in a public school for the fall when he was murdered.

Date: September 6, 2014
Scotch Plains, New Jersey


Documents: Date:
Scotch Plains father killed son, 11, then himself, authorities say 09-08-2014
Son, 11, shot in Scotch Plains murder-suicide was internationally ranked chess player 09-08-2014
Internationally ranked chess player, 11, killed by his father in murder suicide ‘just months after wife filed for divorce’ 09-09-2014
Scotch Plains father who committed suicide, killed 11-year-old son, was in bitter custody battle 09-10-2014
Father tried to set house on fire in Scotch Plains murder-suicide, police say 09-11-2014