FREEHOLD - A registered sex offender has been charged in the deaths of his cousin and her foster daughter.
Police say Brian Farmer was allegedly caught taking pornographic photos of the 10-year-old at their Long Branch home on July 30.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office says Farmer was in 62-year-old Joan Colbert's Lippincott Avenue apartment when she walked in on him forcing Veronica Roach to do sex acts and photographing her.
Authorities believe a fight erupted and Farmer strangled Colbert and the girl to death before fleeing.
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Farmer is being held on $2.5 million bail and is charged with murder and child endangerment.
July 30 was Farmer's 58th birthday, and Colbert had wished him a happy birthday on his Facebook page.
Colbert's friends say Farmer's behavior after the bodies were found August 1 was chilling, as the suspect hid in plain sight.
"Everybody suspected him," Ronald Gibson, a friend of the victims' family, told News 12 New Jersey this morning. "The bad part about it, he was out here shaking people's hands, he went to the funeral, and he went to the repass like nothing ever happened," Gibson says. "He was pretending like he didn't know nothing about it."
Detectives say they discovered the pornographic photos on Farmer's cellphone.
Farmer served 13 years in prison for having sex with a 15-year-old while armed with a knife. According to the registry, he also kidnapped the teen and her mother. He was released in 2009 and was recently said to be living just a few hundred feet from an elementary school.
The suspect now faces life in prison for the murder charges and potentially another 40 years for the child endangerment charges. The case will now go before a grand jury, which will determine the timeline for the trial.
"I hope he burns in hell," Gibson says.