4 dead in Colts Neck fire — relatives’ home burns in other town
COLTS NECK — Prosecutors are investigating two house fires linked to a single family. At one of the fires Tuesday afternoon, authorities found the bodies of two adults and two children.
Authorities released few details Tuesday, declining to speculate whether the fire that continues to tear through the million-dollar mansion in this township was related to another fire Tuesday morning in Ocean Township. Both houses are owned by business partners and relatives.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said a man’s body was found outside the Colts Neck home, while the burned bodies of three more victims were found inside.
Gramiccioni declined to confirm or deny reports that at least one of the bodies was found with gunshot wounds. He said media reports that there were five victims were wrong.
He added that there was no further danger to the community.
Gramiccioni said the extensive burns on the three bodies will make it difficult for medical examiners to determine the cause and manner of death.
The fire at the one-acre property of 15 Willow Brook Road was reported before 1 p.m. and continued to burn at 4:30 p.m. Because firefighters continued to work the scene, crime-scene investigators’ own work was limited.
The first fire at 27 Tilton Drive in Ocean Township did not result in any deaths, Gramiccioni said, declining to say where the residents of that home were. He also declined to say whether the bodies found belonged to the listed owners of the Tinton Falls home — Keith and Jennifer Caneiro.
One of the owners of the Ocean Township home — Paul Caneiro — was a business partner with Keith in a pest management company, records show.
Gramiccioni cautioned the media to “not get carried away until there is reason to believe” that the fires are connected.
Police said they were not immediately aware of any recent police activity or domestic disturbances at the Colts Neck home.
Caneiro's LinkedIn profile describes him as the CEO and chief technology officer for a company in the New York City area called Square One. His profile says he graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Science degree in 2018 and previously received certifications from Harvard Business School's online platform.
During a news conference at the Colts Neck municipal building, Gramiccioni asked anyone with any details about either fire, “even if your tip is small,” to call police.
Authorities expected to have an update on the investigation Wednesday morning.
Dino Flammia and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.