Bodies found in New Jersey house fire were stabbed; suspect, 21, charged

A New Jersey man was charged Friday after an autopsy report revealed that the two people found dead in a house fire earlier this week appeared to have sustained “stab wounds.”

Jaree D. Kitchen, 21, was charged with murder and aggravated arson after prosecutors say he started the fire at his father’s home on Sheridan Street in Jamesburg, a borough 40 miles south of Newark, on Wednesday. His dad, Clifford Kitchen, 53, and a second unidentified person were found dead inside the home.

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But according to Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Christie L. Bevacqua, an autopsy report conducted by the medical examiner’s office revealed that the two victims appeared to have “sustained stab wounds.”

Officials announced Friday that the deaths had been ruled a homicide. It was not immediately clear if they died as a result of the stabbing or the fire.

Kitchen was taken into custody Wednesday and now faces a myriad of charges including two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated arson in the second degree, hindering his own prosecution, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose and destroying evidence.

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He is being held in the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center awaiting his next court appearance Wednesday.