Mom in East Haven Home Threatened Suicide: 911 Caller

The crime tape came down Wednesday night, but police continue investigating the suspicious deaths of a 5-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl found in an East Haven, Connecticut, home on Tuesday afternoon and a 911 call from a woman who identified herself as a friend of the mother said the mom threatened suicide.

“My friend sent me a letter that she was going to kill herself,” the woman told 911 dispatchers around 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday, according to calls police released late on Wednesday morning.

The woman placed the call from outside 541 Strong Street after trying to get in and finding the doors locked.

“She says she cut herself, but I can’t get in the house,” the woman said.

The caller also told police she spoke with her friend over the phone and children were inside the home.

“Are you talking through the door?” the dispatcher asked.

“No, I was talking to her on the phone and when she told me she cut herself, I hung up and called you guys,” she said.

When East Haven police and firefighters arrived at the house, they found a 36-year-old mother, despondent with apparent injuries on her arms. She is still recovering in the hospital.

They then discovered the gas was on in the house. When they searched for other occupants, they found the two children dead inside.

Police have not identified the mother or two children.

Responding officers didn't report seeing any trauma on the childrens' bodies and said the position of their bodies didn't reveal anything suspicious. Police are classifying the deaths as "suspicious."

Three police officers hospitalized due to gas inhalation have been released from the hospital.

East Haven Police Chief Brent Larrabee said. Police didn't elaborate on why but said it will be up to the medical examiner to determine the causes of death.

Police said it's unknown whether the gas was in the air because of a breakage or whether someone turned it on, but Larrabee said, "I would say from observation it was probably turned on."

Police with masts and rubbergloves were back inside the home Wednesday night, working alongside the gas company to investigate.

While police haven't released the names of the childred who died or the mother, friends and neighbors say they are ready to grieve as the yellow police tape cordoning off the home was taken down. They placed stuffed animals near the home in memory of the children killed and lit candles.

“People will grieve over this and we want their feelings to come out. That’s good," East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo said.

The family's neighbor, David Parillo wants to know what happened.

"It’s very sad and disheartening and distraughtful knowing that it happened right next door to you," Parillo said.

His daughter, Julia didn't know the children, but she said she's having a hard time coping with the deaths so close to home.

"It makes me really sad because you know its hard because theyre so little why would you do something like that?" Julia Parillo said.

The cities of East Haven and New Haven are making grief counselors available, as the two children killed, a kindergartener and first-grader, went to the King/Robinson charter school in New Haven.

"We mourn the loss of these beautiful young lives whose smiles lit up the school each day," the school said in a letter to parrents. "Their family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers."

They gave parents tips on how to talk to their children about the tragedy, such as telling them the truth, talking about death instead of "going to sleep," allowing the child to talk about their feelings and express them in writing and art, and assuring their children that they are safe. 

“Her superintendent and my superintendent we’re making sure that both communities have grief counselors in our school system that’s need for the neighborhoods," Maturo said.

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