The family of Paul Caneiro is standing by his side after he was arrested for allegedly setting fire to his New Jersey mansion while they were inside, according to reports.
Caneiro, 51, is accused of using gasoline to send his Ocean Township home up in flames about 5 a.m. last Tuesday, according to an arrest warrant. But his wife, Susan, and daughters, Marissa and Katelyn, who were apparently inside the home at the time of the fire, “fully support him and will be willing to testify” when he appears in court on Wednesday, Caneiro’s attorney, Robert Honecker, told ABC News.
The fire at Caneiro’s home occurred seven hours before his brother’s family was found dead inside their own blazing home, authorities said.
According to Caneiro’s attorney, he was at Ocean Township police headquarters when he learned of the fire at his brother Keith Caneiro’s home in nearby Colts Neck.
“He is in the police station when the fire is reported,” Honecker told the New York Daily News. “And he learns his brother has apparently died while in police headquarters. He got very emotional. He was devastated by the news.”
Firefighters who responded to battle the blaze found Keith, 50, shot dead outside. The badly burned bodies of Keith’s wife, Jennifer, and their children, Jesse, 11, and Sophia, 8, were found inside the home. Investigators reportedly believe they had been stabbed to death.
"The case has transcended into a multiple homicide investigation in addition to the arson matter,” Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni told reporters last Wednesday. “And to date, our investigation has revealed that unfortunately, sadly, each of these individuals were the victims of homicidal violence at some point prior to when the fire was set.”
Authorities would not say if Paul is a suspect in the killings of his brother and brother’s family.
Paul on Monday remained in Monmouth County jail on aggravated arson charges. He is due in court on Wednesday, when prosecutors are expected to present a timeline of what happened.
There, Honecker told ABC News, he will “assert his innocence for this charge as well as any other potential charges.”