Indictment: Man who killed brother's family was being cut off from company

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FREEHOLD -

A New Jersey businessman accused of killing his brother and the brother's wife and two children was about to be cut off from their technology company after money allegedly went missing from the firm.

A 16-count indictment unsealed Monday charges Paul Caneiro with murder, felony murder, aggravated arson and weapons offense. He also faces counts of theft, misapplication of entrusted property and hindering his own apprehension.

The charges stem from the deaths of Keith Caneiro; his wife, Jennifer, and their two young children. Their bodies were found after a fire broke out at their Colts Neck home on Nov. 20.

Keith and Paul Caneiro jointly owned Square One Inc. and EcoStar Pest Management in Asbury Park.

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The indictment stated that the business arrangement was under increasing strain by last fall as Keith "was frustrated with Paul and the amount of money Paul spent from their business accounts" and "Keith indicated that he wanted to sell one of the businesses."

Keith Caneiro never had the chance to sell the business.

“We allege that he shot and killed his brother when the brother came outside the home and then he returned inside the home where he allegedly murdered the other three family members,” Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said during a Nov. 29 news conference.

Keith Caneiro was found on his front lawn, shot five times. The body of Jennifer Caneiro was found between the basement and first floor of their home. She had been shot in the head and stabbed. Their children Sophia and Jesse had been stabbed to death, according to officials.

The court filings stated that investigators were tipped off to the possible motive by the wife of Paul and Keith’s third brother, Corey Caneiro. Corey Caneiro and his family fled to Pennsylvania on the morning of the murders. Corey’s wife told investigators about a history of tension with family finances.

Officials state that Paul Caneiro set fire to his own Ocean Township home in an attempt to divert attention from himself as a suspect.

But detectives found a "red colored gasoline can" on the driveway near a vehicle covered with "likely spot pour burn patterns." A search of Paul Caneiro's car revealed his passport, a gun barrel, and a night vision accessory meant to be attached to a handgun.

Paul Caneiro was charged with arson one day later before being charged with four counts of murder.

Authorities executed a second search warrant at Paul Caneiro's home three days after the killings, using a New Jersey State Police K-9 unit. The K-9 apparently found a plastic container in Caneiro's basement holding bloodstained jeans and a latex glove. Authorities say DNA tests identified the blood on the jeans as the blood of 8-year-old Sophia Caneiro.

Paul Caneiro has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys have said their client loved his family, had no reason to harm them and had been "wrongly accused."

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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