Three children and their mother were found dead at a home on Whaley Street in Danbury Wednesday night. The official results of the autopsy are pending, but police said it appears that the mother strangled her three children, then took her own life.
Police have identified the children as 5-year-old Jonael Panjon, 10-year-old Joselyn Panjon and 12-year-old Junior Panjon and the mother as 36-year-old Sonia Loja.
Police said the children all appear to have died by strangulation and the mother’s suspected cause of death is asphyxia by hanging.
“Pending an official autopsy, preliminary findings indicate that Ms. Loja strangled her three children before killing herself. However, this is still an active investigation,” police said in a news release.
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Police officers responded to the Whaley Street home around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a call from someone who was distraught and crying and found the three children dead inside.
Loja was found dead in the shed outside the home, according to police.
Investigators learned that the mother and children lived at the residence with two other adults who were not home when the police arrived, police said. Those family members, as well as extended family members, have been contacted.
Police said the mayor’s office and the city’s police, fire, health, education, emergency management, and health departments, along with Nuvance Health have coordinated efforts to provide services to the family and friends. They added that this is also an emotionally damaging incident for first responders and services have been extended to public safety personnel who responded to the scene.
An autopsy is scheduled for this morning at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington.
“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,” Mayor Dean Esposito said in a statement.
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: Here is information on suicide prevention from the National Institute of Mental Health. If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741.
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