Brother charged with murder in Colts Neck mansion fire deaths

November 29, 2018 - 11:38 am

COLTS NECK, N.J. (1010 WINS/AP) — A 51-year-old Ocean Township man was charged Thursday morning in the slaying of his younger brother, sister-in-law and his niece and nephew, all of whom were found dead after a fire at their Colts Neck home last week.

RELATED: 2 kids, 2 adults found dead in suspicious Colts Neck mansion fire | NJ community holds somber vigil for family ‘targeted’ in deadly fire | Prosecutor: Family of 4 in Colts Neck mansion fire victims of 'homicidal violence'

Keith Caniero was found shot to death on the lawn of the family's mansion on Nov. 20. He had sustained more than one gunshot wound, the prosecutor said. Inside the burning house, authorities found the bodies of his 45-year-old wife, Jennifer Caniero, their 11-year-old son Jesse and 8-year-old daughter Sophia.

Paul Caneiro is charged with four counts of murder in the killings. Caneiro was also charged with possession of a firearm and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, according to warrants entered into court records shortly before 6 a.m. Thursday.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni says it all went down early Tuesday morning. He said Caneiro shot his brother outside of his Colts Neck home then went inside and killed his brother's wife and children.

"We allege that Jennifer was shot and stabbed, and the two Caneiro children were repeatedly stabbed by knife," he said.

Gramiccioni said the brutal crime was driven by money.

"Stemming from his and the victim's joint business ventures that they owned and operated out of Asbury Park," he said.

Paul and Keith Caneiro were the principals in two businesses, a computer systems company called Square One and a pest control business, both housed above a trendy cafe in Asbury Park. Workers in the area frequently saw Paul Caneiro there.

An investigation is now underway into the businesses' finances.

Colts Neck is a well-to-do community about 50 miles south of New York City and is home to horse farms. Typical homes in the town of 10,000 are valued at about $750,000. Bruce Springsteen owns an estate there, and his son is a former member of the fire department. Former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and his wife operate an animal sanctuary there; Queen Latifah sold her mansion there in 2015.