Long Branch man charged in murder of cousin, 10-year-old foster daughter

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Toni Yates has the latest details. (WABC)

A New Jersey man has been charged with the murder of his cousin and her foster daughter, and police say child pornography sparked the deadly confrontation.

Monmouth County authorities have alleged that Brian Farmer, 58, is responsible for the strangulation deaths of 62-year-old Joan Colbert and 10-year-old Veronica Roach.

Investigators maintain that Farmer was present at the victims' Lippincott Avenue home in Long Branch on July 30 and was discovered by Colbert taking pornographic photographs of the young girl. Prosecutors believe a confrontation ensued, ending with Farmer killing Colbert and Roach.

Detectives discovered pornographic pictures of the 10-year-old victim on Farmer's cellular phone. In addition to homicide charges, he also faces multiple child endangerment and child pornography charges stemming from the nature of the photographs.

The suspect did NOT have permission to be at the house. Colbert came in and was surprised that he was there. It is unclear who let Farmer in.

Farmer is being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township on $2.5 million cash-only bail.

He is a Level 2 Sex Offender who served 13 years in East Jersey State Prison for aggravated sexual assault, assault and arson in a sex crime similar to the one involved in these murders. In 1996, Farmer was convicted for engaging in sexual penetration with a 15-year-old female while he was armed with a knife.

Farmer confined the victim and her mother for a three-day period and kept them tied up. After they escaped, Farmer burned down their home. He was released in October 2009.

Colbert and her family were aware of Farmer's criminal past, and that he was not allowed to be in the house.

Anyone with additional information is urged to call Detective Richard Chapman, of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office at 732-577-8700, or Detective Ross Zotti, of the Long Branch Police Department at 732-222-1000.



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murdernew jersey newschild pornographystranglingLong Branch
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