A 37-year-old Wood-Ridge man has been charged in the Sept. 14 murder of a 74-year old East Rutherford woman, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office announced Thursday.
Daniel T. Rochat of Hackensack Street was arrested by detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office, Major Crimes Unit, and the East Rutherford Police Department on Wednesday night during a traffic stop in Allendale, the prosecutor's office reported in a statement. The traffic stop came as a result of physical surveillance of Rochat by detectives. Rochat refused to comply with officers' directions at the time of the arrest, the statement said.
He was arrested on numerous charges including first-degree murder, two counts of first degree felony murder, two counts of first degree attempted murder and three counts of second degree aggravated arson, among charges that include burglary, hindering and resisting arrest.
Rochat was unemployed at the time of his arrest, according to the statement. Rochat was a former colleague of the murder victim at a Rutherford real estate agency, according to NorthJersey.com. Bergen County Prosecutor John Mollinelli told NorthJersey.com investigators have evidence Rochat entered, the victim's home sometime late morning Sept. 14 and an object was stolen from the home but would not reveal what it was.
Rochat is expected to make his first appearance in court Friday. He is being held on $3 million bail, with no 10 percent option.
Barbara Vernieri was found dead in her East Rutherford home on Sept. 14 by local authorities who responded to a fire at her Sheppherd Terrace home. Autopsy reports revealed Vernieri died as a result of blunt force trauma and the manner had been determined a homicide, according to the prosecutor's office. The Bergen County Arson Squad had determined the fire had been intentionally set.
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