HARDWICK (CBS) – Authorities in Florida have charged the great nephew of an 85-year-old Hardwick man and the nephew’s best friend with stabbing the elderly man to death and then burning down his house.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early said the body of Joseph Cernauskas was found Tuesday night off a dirt road in Barre three weeks after his 100-year-old Hardwick house was burned to the ground.

A considerable amount of blood had been found in an outhouse on the property.

“Early indications do lead us to believe that there was a series of stab wounds that were involved in Mr. Cernauskas’s murder,” said DA Early.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports.

Warrants had been issued for the victim’s great nephew, Jonathan Hart, and Jason Lopez a week ago after Hart’s grandmother reported him missing with her car. Early said the men were found in Florida.

“Both Mr. Hard and Mr. Lopez were interviewed in Florida by state police detectives assigned to the Worcester DA’s office gave statements implicating themselves in Mr. Cernauskas’s murder,” said DA Early.

It’s unclear when the men will be returned to Massachusetts to face charges.


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