Death of a Colts Neck family: What we know
COLTS NECK — A community came together on Wednesday night to remember members of the Caneiro family who were killed on Tuesday.
Keith and Jennifer Caneiro, their 8-year-old daughter Sophia and 11-year-old son Jesse were all killed before their million dollar Colts Neck was set on fire, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.
"This family was targeted," Gramiccioni said at a press conference on Wednesday. "This is one of the most heinous cases we've ever seen. All were victims of a homicide."
In a statement on the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office Facebook page, Gramiccioni said investigators were given the all clear to enter the home and make a positive identification of the deceased. He also confirmed that Keith Caneiro died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The Monmouth County community that watched the their township make news around the world took time to pay their respects with candlelight vigil on Wednesday evening.
"There is no doubt that our town is reeling from a heinous act that has no answers, and we will all keep Keith, Jen, Jesse & Sophia are in our hearts and prayers. Please hug your loved ones this Thanksgiving," Colts Neck mayor J.P. Bartolomeo wrote on his Facebook page.
Bartolomeo told the 100 people who gathered that they were "four really nice people" that he was friends with, according to the Asbury Park Press.
NJ.com reported a memorial to the family made up of teddy bears, flowers and photos were created on the steps of town hall.
Many questions remain about the homicide and fire:
How was the Caneiro family killed?
Keith Caneiro's body was found fatally shot outside the home on Willow Brook Road while the rest of the family was found inside. Gramiccioni said it was not a murder suicide. "We’re operating under the presumption that these were all victims of homicide. We have no reason to believe at this point that there was a suicide angle," the prosecutor said.
What was Keith Caneiro's brother Paul charged with?
Keith Caneiro's brother Paul was charged with pouring gasoline onto his own Ocean Township home on Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. and setting it on fire while his wife and two children were inside. He is currently being held at the Monmouth County Jail.
Was he charged with starting the Colts Neck fire?
Gramiccioni would not connect Paul Caneiro with the Colts Neck blaze, citing state court rules that bar prosecutors from tainting potential jurors in a criminal case. He declined to confirm or deny whether the brother was a suspect in the homicide case. "We can't charge people unless we have evidence." Investigators did not gain entry to the home until Wednesday night.
What was the relationship between the brothers?
He and his brother were business partners in a pest management company. Keith Caneiro was CEO and chief technology officer for an Asbury Park-based company called Square One.
Previous reporting by Sergio Bichao and Dino Flammia was used in this report.