Share This Page

Brady murder suspect linked to mortgage fraud

A New Jersey man accused of killing his father and stepmother and trying to cover it up had paid his father for fake mortgages, according to an affidavit filed this week in Butler County.

State police found tax records that showed interest payments that Colin Abbott, 41, of Randolph, N.J., made to his father, Kenneth Abbott, 65, of Brady for mortgages on at least nine properties in New Jersey that neither man owned, the affidavit said.

State police in July charged Colin Abbott with two counts each of homicide and abuse of a corpse in connection with the deaths of his father and stepmother, Celeste Abbott, 55.

The investigating trooper in the case was not available for comment. A judge has issued a gag order on attorneys and court personnel involved in the case.

In October, state police met with Colin Abbott's girlfriend, Rayna Regenthal, at the home they shared, the affidavit said. Regenthal told the troopers that Abbott did his own notary work and showed them his collection of notary seals, including one of an attorney that had represented him in a previous legal matter.

A notarized mortgage found in Kenneth Abbott's home appeared to match the attorney's seal, the affidavit said. A notarized mortgage for another property had identification numbers from the Morris County Registry Office in New Jersey, where it was supposedly filed, the affidavit stated. However, the office lists a different property for those identification numbers.

In a recorded conversation between Colin Abbott and Regenthal while Abbott was jailed in the Morris County Prison, a reference was made to the Notary Superstore, according to the affidavit, which does not say when the conversation took place. A search of records from the NotarySuperstore.com website showed four purchases by Colin Abbott, the affidavit stated.

The affidavit did not name a victim in the apparent forgery. No new charges have been filed against Colin Abbott, who was being held without bail in the Butler County Prison.

Investigators said Colin Abbott told relatives that the couple died in early June in a fiery car crash in New Jersey that burned their bodies beyond recognition. New Jersey state police found no record of the crash when Celeste Abbott's daughter called for information. They asked Pennsylvania State Police on July 13 to check the Abbotts' multimillion-dollar property in Brady.

Troopers found burned human remains scattered on the 25-acre property and recovered a bullet from a pond. Police said they found Celeste Abbott's credit cards and driver's license, along with a .38-caliber handgun, in Colin Abbott's home.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.