The mystery of who killed a New Jersey family of four, setting their lavish Colts Neck mansion aflame, may have been solved, but the alleged answer may raise even more questions.
Prosecutors announced Thursday they believe 51-year-old Paul Caneiro shot his brother and business partner, Keith, 50, repeatedly in the early hours of Nov. 20. He then allegedly turned his attention to Keith's wife, 45-year-old Jennifer, and their children, 8-year-old Sophia and Jesse, 11, stabbing them repeatedly.
After that, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said, Paul allegedly set a fire in the home's basement in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence. He allegedly took some items to his own home, which he then allegedly set aflame as well, with his own wife and children inside.
They made out it alive, but Keith and his family were not so lucky.
The second blaze was about more than just allegedly destroying evidence, however, prosecutors said. "That fire was effectively a ruse designed to make it appear as if the overall Caneiro family was somehow targeted," Gramiccioni said.
The suspected motive for the crime? A financial dispute, Gramiccioni said. He did not elaborate.
Paul was first arrested earlier this month, charged with aggravated arson in connection with the fire at his own home. Paul's lawyers, Robert Honecker and Mitchell Ansell, have repeatedly asserted their client's innocence on the arson charge, as well as any other possible charges.
"My client adamantly maintains his innocence and adamantly maintains that he would never hurt his family,'' Ansell told the Asbury Park Press Wednesday, ahead of Paul being hit with new charges, including four counts of murder.
They have not yet commented specifically on the new charges, but have said in the past that Paul would never do anything to harm his brother, insisting the two were best friends, with Keith even serving as Paul's best man in his wedding.
Investigators are still working to determine how the relationship allegedly fell apart.
Paul is due in court on Friday, after Wednesday's hearing was postponed. He has not yet entered a plea to any of the charges he faces.