A New Jersey tech executive has been charged with murder in the deaths of his brother’s family of four—bodies were found on Nov. 20 at their burning mansion in the upscale neighborhood of Colts Neck.
Paul Caneiro, 51, faces four counts of murder in the slayings of Keith Caneiro, 50, Jennifer Caneiro, 45, and the pair’s children, NJ.com reported, citing court documents.
In a bizarre sequence of events, Paul Caneiro had earlier been accused of setting his own house on fire while his family was inside. He has also been charged with possession of a firearm and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, as well as arson.
Keith Caneiro, CEO of Ashbury Park-based tech company Square One, suffered a fatal gunshot wound and his body was found outside his home, according to sources cited by NJ.com and the Ashbury Park Press.
We’ve learned though property records 50-year old Keith Caneiro owned the Colts Neck home with his wife. His social media accounts say he’s the CEO of a company named Square One. 2 kids and 2 adults were found dead at the home today. @NBCPhiladelphia at 11pm. pic.twitter.com/L2v2RhED40
— Aaron Baskerville (@ABaskerville10) November 21, 2018
Police discovered the bodies of Caneiro’s wife and two children in their New Jersey mansion, according to The New York Times.
“One body, a man, was found outside the home, and the other three were recovered inside the home,” Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni told Patch.com. “Unfortunately, they were burned severely as a result of the fire.”
At least one of the children’s bodies was found to have stab wounds, a law enforcement source told NJ.com.
Obituaries describe the children as 11-year-old Jesse, who liked World War I and World War II history, video games, and sports, and 8-year-old Sophia, who loved ice skating, ninja classes, and making cookies with her nanny.
“They’re wonderful people,” Kevin Harrington, who lived across the street from the Caneiro family, told the NY Times. “It’s pretty shocking stuff.”
Tech CEO Keith Caneiro, his wife, Jennifer Caniero, and their two children were found dead Tuesday after a mysterious shooting and fire at their mansion in Colts Neck, New Jersey: https://t.co/3KSisqSisZ pic.twitter.com/u5OvSbIJU5
— Tom Cleary (@tomwcleary) November 21, 2018
“Very nice, very friendly, anybody that you’d want to be living next door to basically,” one of Caneiro’s neighbors told CBS News.
Joy Gamache, a local told the Asbury Park Press “the lady” from the 15 Willow Brook was “so nice and beautiful” and she would regularly bring her children over to see the horses.
The killings came hours after a fire was reported at Paul Caneiro’s Ocean Township home, located about 10 miles away from Colts Neck. Caneiro allegedly used gasoline to set his home ablaze at around 5 a.m. on Nov. 20.
The suspect’s family was able to escape the fire without injuries.
A neighbor who was not identified in the report told the Daily Mail they saw Paul and Susan Caneiro at their Ocean Township home after the fire broke out.
“‘He said it must have been a gas leak, he had tears in his eyes. Susan was devastated,” the neighbor said. “He said, “I’m in complete shock, I can’t believe this is happening to me. ‘They were here until about noon.”‘
The fire that destroyed Keith Caneiro’s home was reported at around 12:30 p.m. that same day, according to authorities.
A ‘Targeted’ Crime
The criminal complaint against Paul Caneiro did not disclose a motive, but even at an early stage of the investigation, prosecutors believed the slayings were not a random crime.
“We believe that this family in some form or fashion was targeted,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said last week.
Attorney Robert A. Honecker had previously maintained his client was innocent and said Caneiro was “devastated by the news of his brother and his family’s deaths.”
Keith Caneiro was the CEO of tech company Square One in Asbury Park and Paul Caneiro was listed as the vice president of the company.
Funeral services for the family are planned Sunday.
The Epoch Times reporter Jack Philipps and The Associated Press contributed to this report.