A mother reportedly strangled her three children and then took her own life by hanging herself.
Sonia Loja, 36, killed her three kids – Jonael Panjon, 5, Joselyn Panjon, 10, and Junior Panjon, 12 – at a home from which she also ran a daycare center, police said on Thursday. Loja came to the US from Ecuador about 15 years ago. Loja had been running the daycare for several years.
Police responded to a call for a wellbeing check at the residence on Whaley Street in Danbury, Connecticut, around 6.30pm on Wednesday and found the four family members dead. The bodies of the children were in the house, while the mother’s was in a shed in the backyard.
‘The children all appear to have died by strangulation, and the mother’s suspected cause of death is asphyxia by hanging,’ stated Detective Captain Mark Williams.
‘Pending an official autopsy, preliminary findings indicate that Ms. Loja strangled her three children before killing herself. However, this is still an active investigation.’
Loja and the children lived at the home with two other adults who were not there at the time that cops got the scene.
The bodies were discovered by the father of the children who was crying and distraught.
Their autopsies were scheduled to be performed on Thursday morning.
Loja apparently told parents not to drop their kids off for daycare on Wednesday.
‘A guy came to drop off his kid and she came to the door and said, “No, sorry, I can’t watch him today,”‘ Loja’s neighbor Elvis Español told The New York Post on Thursday.
‘She explained that she’d called all the rest of them, all the rest of the parents of the kids she watches, and she couldn’t get a hold of one, to tell them not to come that day.’
Mayor Dean Esposito called it a ‘truly horrible event’ and said that mental health services would be offered in the city and public schools.
‘Our community grieves for the innocent lives taken from us,’ stated Esposito. ‘We will get through this together.’