What to Know
- The bodies of four people, two of them children, were found at a burning mansion in the wealthy New Jersey community of Colts Neck
- Prosecutors say they're investigating as though it was intentionally set; one of the bodies was found outside with a gunshot wound
- Authorities are also looking into whether it's connected to a fire at the home of a relative in Ocean Township
The bodies of two adults and two children have been found at a burning New Jersey mansion, one of whom had been shot, officials said Tuesday.
The body of a shot man was found outside the Colts Neck mansion on Willow Brook Road around 12:30 p.m., according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni. The three other bodies, including the children, were found severely burned inside the home.
Gramiccioni says investigators are looking into the blaze as though it was intentionally set. It's not clear whether the man found outside the burning home died of the gunshot wound or from the fire.
Authorities say there's no reason to believe the community is in danger.
The fire was continuing to burn into the evening Tuesday. Video from Chopper 4 at the scene early Tuesday afternoon showed thick black smoke billowing from the sprawling modern-style compound as firefighters worked to contain the blaze. Since Colts Neck doesn’t have fire hydrants, tanker trucks full of water raced to help.
Neighbors in the affluent Colts Neck town say they are devastated about the loss of life at the home, especially so close to Thanksgiving.
Colts Neck is a well-to-do community about 50 miles south of New York City and is home to horse farms. Typical homes in the town of 10,000 are valued at about $750,000. Bruce Springsteen owns an estate there, and his son is a former member of the fire department. Former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart and his wife operate an animal sanctuary there; Queen Latifah sold her mansion there in 2015.
Public records show the mansion that burned Tuesday is owned by Keith Caneiro, 50, and Jennifer Caneiro, 45.
The 5,700-square-foot home has four bedrooms and five bathrooms, according to Zillow. The owners purchased the property in 1998, and the home was built in 2003, public records show.
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.
There also was a fire earlier in the day at a home on Tilton Drive in Ocean Township, police and prosecutors said. That home, about 10 miles from Colts Neck, is owned by Paul and Susan Caneiro, and public records show the men are related, sharing at least one address in New York several decades ago. They are also "friends" on Facebook, but it is unclear how they are related.
Paul Caneiro is listed as the vice president of Square One.
Investigators at the Ocean Township scene discovered several gas cans in the rear of the house.
When asked if the two fires were connected, Gramiccioni said, "That remains to be seen but that is an angle we continue to pursue."