COLTS NECK, N.J. — The investigation into a mansion fire in a small, affluent New Jersey community where two adults and two children were found dead took a turn Wednesday when authorities arrested the brother of the man who owned the house. Paul Caneiro was charged with aggravated arson stemming from a separate fire Tuesday at his residence in Ocean Township, about 10 miles away from the mansion.
Authorities had speculated that the two fires could be related but haven’t charged anyone in connection with the arson fire at the mansion in Colts Neck.
This image released by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office shows Paul Caneiro, who prosecutor charged Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, with aggravated arson.
Colts Neck is about 50 miles south of New York City, and the upscale enclave is home to a number of celebrities, including Bruce Springsteen. Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart and his wife operate an animal sanctuary there; Queen Latifah sold her mansion there in 2015.
Property records indicate the Colts Neck home was owned by Keith Caneiro. He and Paul Caneiro are listed as executives at a technology firm, Square One.
It wasn’t immediately known if Paul Caneiro had retained an attorney. The Monmouth County prosecutor’s office was scheduled to hold a news conference later Wednesday.
Three severely burned bodies were found inside the mansion, and a man’s body was discovered outside, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said Tuesday.
A source told NJ.com it was Caneiro’s body found outside the mansion on the front lawn. The 50-year-old allegedly suffered a gunshot wound “that did not appear to be self-inflicted.” A source told NJ.com the badly burned bodies found inside the home were Jennifer, and the couple’s two young children.
A medical examiner was investigating how the four people died, Gramiccioni said.
“Very nice, very friendly, anybody that you’d want to be living next door to basically,” one of their neighbors said.
Firefighters responded to the fire around 1:30 p.m., and it was still burning hours later. Video showed firefighters battling the blaze as smoke poured from the roof of the two-story home, which is surrounded by fields and includes a large swimming pool.
Helicopter footage showed a sheet in the middle of the yard next to the house, with police tape cordoning off the area.
CBS News tried unsuccessfully to reach Paul Caneiro and also reached out to the prosecutor’s office for comment but did not immediately hear back.
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