A New Jersey man, 51-year-old Paul Caneiro, has been arrested in connection with the brutal deaths of four family members. Authorities allege that Caneiro killed his younger brother Keith, along with Keith’s wife and two children.
Prosecutors from Monmouth County allege that Caneiro went to his brother’s home in Colts Neck. He allegedly shot his brother, then entered the home. Once inside, he stabbed Jennifer Caneiro, Keith’s wife, to death. He also stabbed both of Keith’s children, Sophia and Jesse, to death. After killing the entire family, he then went to the basement and started a fire.
According to the prosecution’s report, Caneiro then returned to his own home in Ocean. When he arrived, he set fire to his own house. Prosecutors suspect that he set fire to his own home as a cover, in an effort to divert blame to an unknown person with a grudge against the entire family. They believe he was also attempting to destroy evidence in the fire.
Fortunately, Caneiro’s own family was able to escape their Ocean home, according to Christopher Gramiccioni, the Monmouth County Prosecutor. However, his brother’s family was not so lucky.
Upon arrival at the Colts Neck residence, firefighters found the dead bodies of Sophia, Jesse and Jennifer inside the home. All three were badly burnt as well as stabbed. Keith was located outside, dead from multiple gunshot wounds. The fire at Caneiro’s residence was responded to first, on Nov. 20th, as the fire set in Keith’s home smoldered for a long period before spreading and creating notice.
Authorities were able to gather evidence at Caneiro’s residence, which included computers, cellphones and other electronics.
Prosecutors suspect the motive for the killings centered around the brothers’ businesses and finances. The brothers operated both a pest control company and a technology company. Investigations into Caneiro and the businesses has been launched to determine the depth of any financial motivation.
At this point, Caneiro has been charged with four murder counts, two counts of arson, possessing a gun with intent to use it unlawfully and knife possession with intent to use it unlawfully. Caneiro has retained counsel, Mitchell J. Ansell and Robert A. Honecker Jr., who plan to make a statement in regard to the charges against Caneiro. Both attorneys claim strongly that Caneiro is innocent. “My client adamantly maintains his innocence and adamantly maintains that he would never hurt his family,” said Ansell to reporters.
Caneiro was to have a court appearance on Wednesday; however, his counsel requested that it be postponed until Friday. The original charges against Caneiro were the four murder charges, while the other charges were brought after his arrest.
Gramiccioni has called this the most “brutal” incident he has experienced as a prosecutor. He has claimed that his office will not stop until justice has been served in the deaths of Keith Caneiro and his family.