COLTS NECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Funeral services for the family of four found murdered at their mansion in New Jersey are set for Sunday.
Their home in Colts Neck went up in flames two days before Thanksgiving, and father Keith Caneiro was found shot dead outside the home.
His wife Jennifer was discovered inside the house shot and stabbed, and prosecutors say their two children, Jesse and Sophie, were stabbed repeatedly.
Keith Caneiro’s brother, Paul, is charged with allegedly killing the family and then setting the mansion ablaze to conceal the murders.
Prosecutors said they were victims of “homicidal violence” before the fire. Investigators believe the fire, which started in the basement, served to destroy evidence of the earlier crime. According to the criminal complaint, Paul Caneiro also set fire to his own home in Ocean Township while his wife and two daughters were inside.
“We allege that the defendant intentionally set fire to his home at or about 5 a.m. for the purpose of both destroying evidence of his earlier crimes in Colts Neck and to also create the illusion that the overall Caneiro family was somehow victimized or targeted,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said. “We allege that it was a ruse.”
Investigators said the motive was financial. The brothers were business partners who owned a technology company and a pest control company in Asbury Park. A source told CBS2 the tech company was struggling and on the verge of shutting down. Paul Caneiro reportedly had an accident a few years ago and ended up on disability and walks with a cane. The prosecutor would not comment on his toxicology report.
In addition to the investigation into the killings, a financial investigation has been launched into the family’s business.
In a statement sent to the media, Paul Caniero’s layer said in part that his client maintains he is innocent, and that he had no reason to have committed these crimes.