A Connecticut mother of three that allegedly strangled her three children in a murder suicide on Wednesday reportedly ran an illegal daycare in her home, the New York Post reports.
Sonia Loja, 36, took her own life after allegedly strangling her three kids, Junior Panjon, 12, Joselyn Panjon, 10, and Jonael Panjon, 5, according to police.
On the day of the murder suicide, Sonia Loja reportedly called the parents or 10 children and said that they wouldn’t be allowed to drop off their children at her home for daycare that day. When one of the parents arrived to drop off his child, she turned him away, a neighbor of Loja told the New York Post.
“Yesterday morning, just before 10, a guy came to drop off his kid and she came to the door and said, ‘No, sorry, I can’t watch him today,'” Loja’s neighbor Elvis Espinal told the outlet on Thursday.
“She explained that she’d called all the rest of them, all the rest of the parents of the kids she watches, and she couldn’t get ahold of one, to tell them not to come that day,” Espinal explained.
Espinal told the New York Post that Sonia’s brother, who lives in the home, had left to go to work shortly after and “didn’t see anything weird.”
“He just went to work and he said he didn’t even know anything was wrong until he got a call from his brother,” Espinal said.
After Loja’s husband attempted to make contact with Sonia throughout the day, he grew concerned when there was no communication and he called 911 to request a wellness check, the neighbor said.
However, the husband beat police to the house and found the deceased children inside.
“He went inside and like a couple minutes later he came out and he called 911 and just fainted to the ground,” the neighbor told the outlet.
Police later found Sonia Loja hanging in the backyard shed, which is close to the playground equipment the children use in daycare, according to the neighbor.
The state Office of Early Childhood told the New York Post that Loja was cited twice for running an illegal daycare out of her home, the first time on June 2 and the second time on June 6. On June 29, the agency issued a “Demand to Cease.”
Pedro Panjon, the children’s father, posted several photos of his children to social media on Wednesday, along with a caption in Spanish that reads, “Rest in peace, now you are in a better place with God.”
The neighbor told the Post, “I’ve had a knot in my stomach ever since I found out what happened.”
“I still have no appetite. I’m not in shock, it’s more than shock, it’s like horror or like devastation. I can’t stop seeing the little boy’s face.”
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