A Connecticut mother allegedly killed her three children before taking her own life, the Danbury Police Department said Thursday.
Police identified the mother as 36-year-old Sonia Loja and her three children as Junior Panjon, 12; Joselyn Panjon, 10; and Jonael Panjon, 5.
“A truly horrible event occurred in our city yesterday and we mourn the tragic loss of life. In the coming days, mental health and counseling services will be provided through collaboration with the Danbury Public Schools and the City of Danbury. Our community grieves for the innocent lives taken from us. We will get through this together,” Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito said in a statement.
Police found the four bodies Tuesday night after conducting a wellness check, according to ABC News New York station WABC. Police said they believe the mother strangled her children before killing herself.
Autopsies are scheduled for Thursday at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington, Connecticut, authorities said.
Police said the family lived in the home with two other adults. The adults were not present when police arrived on the scene, but they and other family members have been contacted and informed of the incident, police said.
“The kids were really good kids. They were really friendly kids,” neighbor Ralph Baugher told ABC News Connecticut affiliate WTNH. “When you drive by, they would wave and say, ‘How are you doing?’ Wave back to them, ‘Hi, how are you doing?’ They were always happy kids. Always playing in the yard, having fun, laughing all the time.”
The mayor’s office and other local government agencies said they are providing support for family and friends of the deceased and for first responders who responded to the scene, officials.
The investigation is still active, police said.