PRESTON, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police say a Connecticut woman shot her two grandsons to death before killing herself after picking the boys up from daycare Tuesday, CBS 2 reported.
The bodies of 47-year-old Debra Denison and her grandsons, 2-year-old Alton Perry and 6-month-old Ashton Perry, were found Tuesday night in a van parked near Lake of Isles in Preston.
State police called the deaths a double murder-suicide Wednesday, saying they believe Denison shot the boys and herself. Autopsies were planned.
Authorities said Denison had picked up 6-month-old Ashton and 2-year-old Alton from their daycare at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The grandmother was friendly and talkative when she picked up the children and did not give any indication of distress, according to Nikki Salaun, director of the Kidds & Co. daycare center in North Stonington.
After helping Denison to her van with the children, Salaun and daycare center co-owner Christine Hare discovered she had taken the wrong car seat. When they could not get in touch with her by phone, they alerted the boys’ mother, and police soon issued an alert.
The bodies were found at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, about two hours after state police issued a statewide Amber Alert for Denison and the boys.
Tuesday was Alton’s second birthday. Denison picked up the children from daycare and was supposed to bring them home so Alton could open his presents, family members said.
Denison was armed with a gun when she left her home Tuesday afternoon and had permission to pick up the boys from daycare, state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said.
In Facebook postings late Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Brenda Perry thanked people for their prayers and said she loved her sons.
“God (has) two beautiful angels helping him now,” the postings said. “My boys are in an amazing place we got a few great angels watching over us. love you Ashton and alton.”
Family members said Denison had bipolar disorder and a history of mental health problems.
Investigators said Denison left behind a suicide note, CBS 2 reported. Its contents have not been made public.
Denison had two convictions for minor driving offenses, said Peggy Muckle, a clerk at New London Superior Court. She was fined $35 in 2003 for following too closely and, in 2004, she pleaded guilty to reckless driving but a judge did not require her to pay the $100 fine.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)