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Wood-Ridge Man Accused of Killing Elderly Widow

A northern New Jersey man has been indicted on felony murder and numerous charges in the death of an elderly widow whose body was found inside her burning home last year.

Daniel Rochat (Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office)

A Bergen County grand jury handed up the 14-count indictment against Daniel Rochat earlier this week. He remains jailed on $3 million bail and faces life in prison if convicted.

The 38-year-old Wood-Ridge resident has maintained his innocence in the September 2012 death of 70-year-old Barbara Vernieri of East Rutherford. Authorities have not disclosed a possible motive for the slaying.

Investigators have said Vernieri died from blunt force trauma to her head and upper body. They say she suffered the fatal injuries before the fire started.

Authorities say the victim and Rochat’s father worked together in real estate.

 

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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