None of the hairs clutched in Barbara Vernieri's hand belonged to the man being charged with killing her and burning her body, a state police forensic scientist testified Tuesday.
Prosecutors allege that Daniel Rochat of Wood-Ridge entered Vernieri's East Rutherford home on the morning of Sept. 14, 2012, and “beat, battered and bruised her body" before she was “doused in gasoline and set on fire.” Rochat and Vernieri were acquainted, as Rochat's father was Vernieri's boss at Kurgan-Bergen Realty in Rutherford.
Melissa Balogh, who works in the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensics, analyzed several pieces of evidence and hair samples found on Vernieri. Balogh performed two tests on the fabric from a green chair in the room where Vernieri was found, saying she found gasoline.
None of the hair found in the real estate agent's hand and on items including bedding and clothing was Rochat's, Balogh said.