N.J. Mansion Murders: Brother of Slain Dad Allegedly Killed Family of 4, Had 'Financial' Motive
The four counts of murder filed against Paul Caneiro were announced early Thursday
One week after the bodies of a family of four were discovered after their New Jersey mansion became engulfed in flames, the slain father’s brother has been charged in their killings, PEOPLE confirms.
Paul Caneiro, 51, is accused of killing his business partner-brother, his brother’s wife and their two children before setting their Colts Neck mansion on fire on Nov. 20.
The charges — four counts of murder — were filed early Thursday, court records obtained by PEOPLE show.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni told reporters Thursday morning that he will soon present evidence to a grand jury, seeking an indictment against Caneiro. Without elaborating, Gramiccioni said investigators believe the motive behind the killings was “financial” — tied to the brothers’ joint business ventures.
Business records list Keith Caneiro as the owner of a technology firm called Square One, NJ Advance Media reports. He also owns a pest management company, and operated both businesses with Paul Caneiro.
Caneiro faces life in prison if convicted, Gramiccioni said, adding the case was “the most brutal” he has ever handled.
Caneiro has not yet entered pleas to the charges, and information concerning his defense lawyer was unavailable.
He has been in police custody since last week, when he was detained on a single count of aggravated arson after he allegedly set fire to his own residence in Ocean Township with his wife and kids inside.
No one was injured in that blaze, which was quickly extinguished.
Gramiccioni alleged Caneiro tried to throw off police by starting both fires, believing it would appear as though both his family and his brother’s were being targeted.
Authorities responding to the Colts Neck fire found Keith Caneiro, 50, fatally shot on the grounds outside.
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Once the fire was out, police went inside, and found the bodies of Keith’s wife, Jennifer Caneiro, 45, their son Jesse, 8, and daughter Sophia, 11.
The fire at Paul’s home was called in at about 5 a.m. while authorities were called to the Colts Neck fire at about 12:30 p.m.
The two brothers were business partners, investigators explained.
More information on the charges is expected to be announced later today. No alleged motive has been revealed.