There are several groundbreaking developments in the strange, horrifying case of the gruesome double homicide that took place in Paterson, New Jersey on Friday — the victims of which were found in a burned car belonging to Real Housewives of New Jersey star Kim DePaola. At around 2 a.m. on Friday, the two victims were discovered in a white Audi — registered to the boutique owner and used by her son — that had been set ablaze after the murder. The victims were shot in the back of the head execution-style and their bodies burnt beyond recognition.
Now, the victims have been identified and two suspects are in police custody. Here are all the significant updates on the developing situation.
- The victims have been identified. Cops identified the bodies of Aaron Anderson, 27, and friend Antonio Vega Jr., 25. Anderson was friends with DePaola's son Chris Camiscioli, and drove him to the airport on Thursday night, only hours before the shooting. Anderson's mother, Michele Ryerson, told the Daily News that her son had a 16-month-old boy. DePaola told the outlet that Vega was also a father to a young child with another one on the way.
- Suspects have been arrested. According to a statement from the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office, Paterson residents Clarence Williams, 26, and Gerry Thomas, 28 are facing a litany of charges following their arrests late Monday night, including: murder, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery, arson, and possession of a firearm. They are being held in Passaic County Jail without bail, reports NJ.com.
- Police have a potential motive. They believe a robbery was behind the crime, per People. "They were going around robbing people," Ryerson said the cops told her, reports NJ.com. On Monday, sources told NBC that the cops were looking into whether drugs were involved. It is not clear whether the killers knew the victims.
- But DePaola thinks it was a revenge killing. “I think it’s absolutely disgusting. These people need to be found and put to justice,” she said. “I think it was a vendetta,” she told the Daily News. “Aaron was strong-willed. He might have pissed off the wrong person. These days, you say one wrong thing and someone comes for you.”
- Anderson's mom is hearing something similar on the street. Ryerson revealed to the Daily News that people in the area told her that her son “ratted on someone,” She continued, “They said Aaron said something to the police, so the guy that’s in jail put a hit out on my son. I don’t know how true that is.” She added that Vega was potentially just a witness to the crime — a loose end the criminals needed to tie up.
- The use of DePaola's car appears to have been incidental. Although DePaola says she "knew both the boys," she never used the car and was not aware Anderson was driving it. "Well, it’s my son’s car, that he drives. But you know, all mothers — insurance is high, so a lot of mothers get their sons a car. It’s registered in my name. I’ve never driven the car," she told TMZ.
- DePaola's son Chris was not there at the time of the crime. "My son was in California when this took place," she explained to TMZ. "The boy that had the car took my son to the airport, and it happened a couple days later. I was approached by the Paterson-Wayne police that morning, Friday morning, and asked if I owned an Audi, and that’s how I found out."
DePaola also talked to TMZ about her horror at the brutal crime. "These people have to be savages. I hope they catch them and I hope they rot. They will rot in hell. No matter what anyone does, they don’t deserve to die like that." She continued, sympathizing for the victims' parents. "And these parents can’t even bury their sons right now because they’re unidentified. It’s just a horrible horrible situation. I’m brokenhearted, my son’s brokenhearted. I spoke to the mother today of one of the boys and they’re just devastated."
On Tuesday, DePaola posted a second Instagram in regards to the crime. "My heart is heavy !! I am praying for the families, and babies left behind !! RIP" she wrote. DePaola told the Daily News that she was planning a fundraiser at her Allendale boutique, Posche, which has been featured on the Real Housewives.