There was a mass killing at a home in Danbury, Connecticut on Wednesday in which three young children and their mother were all found deceased.
Unfortunately, it was quickly determined that the four deaths were the result of a murder-suicide by the mother, who killed her three children before taking her own life, CBS News reported.
Children strangled to death, mother found hanged
Local police received a call Wednesday evening from a “distraught” man who asked officers to conduct a welfare check on the home’s residents.
“When officers arrived, they found three deceased juveniles inside the home and they found a deceased female in the backyard at the residence,” Danbury Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour told reporters. “The person who called was a male who sounded distraught and was crying.”
The deceased mother was identified as 36-year-old Sonia Loja, who hung herself after strangling to death her three children — 12-year-old Junior Panjon, 10-year-old Joselyn Panjon, and 5-year-old Jonael Panjon.
According to the Hartford Courant, the Connecticut State Chief Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Friday that strangulation had been the cause of death for all four individuals, as the mother was found hanged by her neck, and the three children all showed evidence of “ligature strangulation,” in which a cord, rope, or wire is used to strangle a person.
Father found a suicide note in the kitchen
As it turns out, the “distraught” man who called the police was none other than the children’s father, Pedro Panjon, who had just returned home from work and immediately realized something was wrong when his children didn’t rush out to greet him, the New York Post reported.
According to Panjon’s cousin, Digna Naulaguari, the father entered the unusually locked and quiet home and immediately found an apparent suicide note in the kitchen that allegedly read, “Sorry, Pedro, I take my kids with me.”
The father then reportedly began to search the house and found the two older children dead in one room while the youngest children was found dead in another room, all three with what appeared to be electrical cords wrapped around their necks.
That is when the father rushed back outside and called for help before he collapsed in the front yard and was later transported to a hospital. Responding officers reportedly found the mother hanging in a backyard shed.
The mother battled depression, and recently had an unlicensed daycare business shut down
The Courant reported that officials have not released a likely motive for the murder-suicide, but the Post noted that, according to Naulaguari, Loja had long battled with depression that had recently become much worse after the unlicensed daycare business she operated out of the home had been cited multiple times and shut down by the city in recent weeks.
That is tragic, and though it certainly doesn’t excuse the mother’s murderous choice to kill her children along with herself, it does provide some insight into what led her to make such a horrific decision, and we can only pray that the father and family and friends may one day find peace in the wake of this terrible occurrence.