Two adults and two children have been confirmed dead at a suspicious mansion blaze in Colts Neck, located in Monmouth County, New Jersey. It is believed arson was involved and investigators are treating the deaths as a quadruple homicide.
According to NJ.com, a “couple and two of their children were found dead Tuesday afternoon as an arson fire swept through their sprawling, multimillion-dollar Colts Neck estate.”
It is believed that the blaze broke out around 1 p.m., according to Fox News. The fire crew was still on site at 4.30 p.m.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni gave a press statement on the incident, but they would not identify the victims discovered in the blaze. They also confirmed that four victims had been located, not five, like previously reported by the press.
“Unfortunately, they were burned severely as a result of the fire they were exposed to, so that’s making things somewhat challenging with the medical examination that needs to ensue,” Gramiccioni said.
While Gramiccioni did not reveal the identities of the victims during a press statement, according to NJ.com a law enforcement source did confirm the victims were the residents of the mansion. It is believed that the adult victims are Jennifer Caneiro, 45, and her husband, Keith Caneiro, 50. Keith was Ivy League-educated and the CEO of an Asbury Park technology company, Square One.
It is reported that Keith was found outside of his home with a gunshot wound that was not self-inflicted, according to the unidentified law enforcement source. The three other bodies were discovered inside the residence. However, Gramiccioni did not confirm these details when asked during the press conference.
If the victims are the Canieros, in a strange twist, Keith’s brother, Paul, also suffered from a blaze on Tuesday morning at their Ocean Township home, according to NJ.com.
Paul and his wife, Susan, were believed to have been at their Tilton Drive home at the time the blaze broke out. However, both survived the blaze.
“He said it must’ve been a gas leak, he had tears in his eyes,” a neighbor said. “Susan was devastated.”
“He said, ‘I’m in complete shock I can’t believe this is happening to me,'” another neighbor reported.
WNBC-TV reports that several gas cans were found in the rear of the house at Tilton Drive.
It is unclear yet as to whether the two blazes are connected and local law authorities have not yet officially linked the two incidents. When questioned about the possible link, Gramiccioni said that it “is an angle we continue to pursue.”