Local, state officials investigating ‘suspicious’ deaths

By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer
shaun@thecitizenchronicle.com

WEST BROOKFIELD — A mother and three children were found dead after police conducted a welfare check on Thursday afternoon.

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. confirmed the deaths in a press conference on Old Warren Road shortly after 10 p.m., describing the deaths as suspicious. Early said the three children included a 7-year-old girl, a 5-year-old boy, and a 2-year-old boy. The two oldest children were students at West Brookfield Elementary School, according to the school district’s superintendent. Authorities did not release the names of the victims.

West Brookfield Police Chief C. Thomas O’Donnell said his department arrived at the 10 Old Warren Road home around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday to conduct a welfare check. Chief O’Donnell said it was during that check that “officers found the four victims in an upstairs bedroom.”

Authorities did not delve into specifics of the case, deflecting questions about various reports regarding the local tragedy.

“It is very, very early in this investigation and there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered,” Mr. Early told reporters.

Added Chief O’Donnell: “This is a very active, very ongoing investigation.”

At approximately 10:20 p.m. on Thursday, Mr. Early said Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services and forensic scientists from the State Police Crime Laboratory had arrived shortly before the late night press conference. “We’re just getting into the building now,” Mr. Early said.

Officials offered no hints of possible suspects in the suspicious deaths, but Chief O’Donnell offered police will be on hand at area schools on Friday. “While we don’t anticipate or believe there is a worry to the general public, erring on the side of caution, we will have personnel at the school tomorrow,” he said.

Authorities said State Police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s office were working with West Brookfield Police to lead the investigation. Anyone with any information relevant to this case should contact State Police at (508) 820-2121, Mr. Early said.

Quaboag Regional School Superintendent Brett Kustigian reached out to parents and guardians from the school district, stating grief counselors will be available for students and staff. West Brookfield Elementary School is part of the Quaboag Regional School District. “If your child is affected by this tragedy in any way, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the expert resources in our schools,” Mr. Kustigian said. He also noted the district’s schools “will continue with our normal schedule” on Friday.

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