DOVER, N.H. — A self-employed coppersmith accused of killing his wife and father waived his right to an arraignment and agreed to be held without bail pending his anticipated indictment on murder charges.
Monday’s arrest of Jeramie Michael Colella, 44, followed the discovery of the bodies of his wife, Joanna Colella, and his visiting father, Francis Colella, inside the couple’s lace-curtained townhouse on a hill overlooking Tideview Estates.
The couple’s large dog was also found inside, uninjured, authorities confirmed Tuesday.
Jeramie Colella entered a paper plea of not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and knowingly causing the deaths. Investigators are still looking into whether the double homicide was premeditated.
The case file at Strafford Superior Court in Dover has been impounded.
Assistant Attorney General John Kennedy said he expects his office to be able to release Wednesday how Joanna Colella and her father-in-law died, pending the outcome of their autopsies.
“Anybody who has any information, who may have heard or seen anything, please call Dover police,” Kennedy said, explaining the timeline of the slayings “is still part of the ongoing investigation. The time that we’re looking for is Sunday, probably around noontime, through Monday morning.”
Kennedy would not divulge who asked police to conduct a wellbeing check at 18 Tideview Drive Monday morning or where police ultimately located Jeramie Colella, whose unmarked white utility van packed with tools of his trade was outside the condo yesterday.
“He was at the Dover police station when he was arrested,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said police have questioned neighbors who reported hearing fireworks in the area Sunday night.
“Certainly we’re taking that into account as part of our timeline and part of determining everything that happened,” Kennedy said.
“We have no reason to believe there is any danger to the public,” he said. “We believe we have identified everybody involved. We know all the players.”
For some still without answers as to what happened, the horror in the house on the corner shattered an image of domestic bliss.
“Everything was normal,” neighbor Ramon Valdez, 52, said yesterday. He said he often saw Jeramie Colella working in his garage on custom-ordered copper pieces.
“He was a smart man,” Valdez said, adding that Joanna, 43, a licensed nursing assistant, was “friendly. We’ve never seen them argue. We’ve never seen a cop here before. It’s just unreal. They were nice people. It’s just a shame this happened.”
Valdez said he saw Francis Colella, 69, standing in the parking lot early Sunday talking on a cellphone.
The father lived in Georgia, according to public records. A blue Toyota Sienna minivan with Georgia plates remained parked outside his son’s home yesterday. On the center console was a beach parking sticker from Friday and a bag of tortilla chips.
In the back was a rack of clothes, blankets and a cooler. Authorities declined to say why Francis Colella was in New Hampshire.
Jeramie Colella’s mother did not respond to a request for comment.
Valdez said Jeramie and Joanna have an adult son.