Sonia Loja, Dansbury, Connecticut mother strangles 3 young children, then hangs self dead at family home. No known motive in apparent murder suicide.
Mom, Sonia Loja killed her three kids – Junior Panjon, 12, Joselyn Panjon, 10, and Jonael Panjon, 5 – at home before she then took her own life, police confirmed today.
When officers arrived at the scene on Whaley Street, Danbury, Wednesday evening, they found the 36-year-old mother’s dead body in a shed in the backyard the News-Times reported.
Police were called to the scene after a ‘distraught and crying’ man found the children’s dead bodies in the house.
Loja and her three kids lived at the home with two other adults – who were not at the address when police arrived on Tuesday evening.
‘Emotionally damaging incident’
Detective Captain Mark Williams said in a statement today: ‘We can now confirm the identities of the deceased as Sonia Loja, 36, Junior Panjon, 12, Joselyn Panjon, 10, and Jonael Panjon, 5.
‘Ms. Loja is the mother of the three children, and they all resided at 10 Whaley Street. 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.
‘Investigators had learned that the mother and children lived at the residence with two other adults, who were not present when the police arrived. They and other extended family members have been contacted and advised of the incident.
‘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 of the deceased.
‘As this is also an emotionally damaging incident for first responders, services have been extended to public safety personnel who responded to the scene.
‘An autopsy of the deceased is scheduled for this morning at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Farmington, CT.
POLICE: Sonia Loja, 36, Junior Panjon, 12, Joselyn Panjon, 10, and Jonael Panjon, 5 all found dead at 10 Whaley St., Danbury. Ms. Loja was the mom of the kids. Kids appear to have died by strangulation, Mom’s suspected cause of death is asphyxia by hanging in the shed @FOX61News pic.twitter.com/wlG2dyd4pF
— Tony Terzi (@T2Fox61) July 28, 2022
No known motive
‘Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victims.’
Offered Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour: ‘At approximately 6:33 pm officers responded to a well-being check call at 10 Whaley St. The caller was distraught and crying.
‘Upon arrival officers went inside the single family residence and discovered three deceased persons, all juveniles.
‘While conducting a further check of the premises they found a deceased female in a shed in the backyard.’
Ridenhour confirmed that the incident in Danbury – which is around 50 miles northeast of New York City – appears to be isolated, and there is no greater danger to the public. No known motive was immediately known.
He also told NBC Connecticut: ‘We’re not going to leave any stone unturned.
Mental health and support network
‘It’s an extremely difficult time for many of our officers, especially those who had to go inside.’
Mayor Dean Esposito characterized the incident as a ‘truly horrible event’ that rocked the Connecticut city.
‘In the coming days, mental health and counseling services will be provided through collaboration with the Danbury Public Schools and the City of Danbury,’ Esposito said in a statement. ‘Our community grieves for the innocent lives taken from us. We will get through this together.’
One neighbor Tom Neville, who is one of the 86,000 people living in the city of Danbury, said that the event unnerved the locals in what is usually a quiet area.
He told the local paper: ‘At 5 o’clock tonight, I was watering my flowers and nothing. Nothing looked like suspicious was going on or anything.’
Another neighbor, who remained anonymous, told News12 Connecticut that ‘they’d often see the kids playing at a park nearby.’