A woman who was supposed to pick up her two grandsons from day care and take them home so one of the children could open his birthday presents instead took the two boys to a nearby town, shot and killed them both, then shot and killed herself, according to authorities and family members.
The bodies of the woman and her grandsons, 47-year-old Debra Denison, 2-year-old Alton Perry, and 6-month-old Ashton Perry, were found in a car near Lake of Isles in Preston, Conn., Tuesday night. Family members told NBC Connecticut
that she had left a suicide note.
The deaths are being investigated as what police called a double murder-homicide, saying they suspected Denison shot both boys and herself. Autopsies of all three bodies were planned.
Alton's second birthday was Tuesday. Denison picked up the two children from their day care in North Stonington, Conn., that afternoon. The grandmother appeared friendly and in good spirits to staff at the day care. The plan was for the three to return to the home of Brenda Perry, the children's mother.
"I wanted him to come home and play with his new toys and have a good day," Perry told USA Today.
Denison was the mother of Christopher Allen, a man serving a felony murder sentence for the stabbing and beating death of Kyle Sheets in 2008. Denison had Christopher with Finlay Allen during what was described in one news article as a "fatal attraction."
Court documents showed Denison had previously been treated by Connecticut Behavioral Health. Multiple reports said she had mental illness.
The paternal great-grandmother to the two slain boys said Denison insisted on picking the children up alone, even when their mother asked her to take along another relative.
Denison also had a 13-year-old son and, according to USA Today, her suicide note said god was watching over him.
Perry took to Facebook to thank community members for support. "God (has) two beautiful angels helping him now. My boys are in an amazing place we got a few great angels watching over us. love you Ashton and Alton."
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