Cousin of elder victim is charged
Brian Farmer, 58, of John St in Long Branch has been charged with the strangulation murders of his cousin, Joan Colbert and her 10 year old foster daughter Veronica Roach. Farmer also faces child pornography charges in connection with the 10 year old girl, according to a statement by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Prosecutor’s office has confirmed that the defendant is the the same Brain R. Farmer, 58 of Long Branch, who is a registered sex offender convicted of aggravated assault in 1996.
A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Long Branch Police Department was launched after Colbert and Roach were found in their first floor apartment at 61 Lippincott Ave. on August 1, 2014. Long Branch police responded to the home around 5:22 p.m. following a report of suspicious circumstances at the address.
A 13-day investigation revealed Farmer was at the home on July 30, where he was discovered by Colbert taking pornographic photographs of the 10-year-old girl. A confrontation ensued ending with Farmer killing Colbert and the girl. Farmer then fled the scene of his crimes.
Detectives discovered pornographic pictures of the 10-year-old victim on Farmer’s cellular phone prompting the child endangerment charges. Farmer is accused of causing the girl to engage in a prohibited sexual act while simultaneously photographing the girl; photographing the girl while engaged in a prohibited sexual act; engaging in sexual conduct with the child; and possession of child pornography.
An autopsy was performed by Middlesex County Assistant Medical Examiner Dr. Diane Karluk ruled both deaths were the result of a homicide, and that both victims died as the result of strangulation.
Anyone with additional information about this case 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.
If convicted of both charges of first degree Murder, Farmer faces a New Jersey state prison sentence of Life without the possibility of parole.
Farmer faces a state prison sentence of 10 to 20 years for first degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and faces a state prison sentence of 5 to 10 years on the second degree charge for the same offense. On each of the third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child charges, Farmer faces a state prison sentence of 3 to 5 years.
Farmer is being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $2.5 million cash bail as set by Judge Francis J. Vernoia.