Sonia Loja: Connecticut Mom Murdered Her 3 Kids, Police Say

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Sonia Loja was a Connecticut mother who police say murdered her three small children before taking her own life.

“We can now confirm the identities of the deceased as Sonia Loja, 36, Junior Panjon, 12, Joselyn Panjon, 10, and Jonael Panjon, 5,” Danbury police Detective Capt. Mark Williams wrote in a statement on the Police Department’s Facebook page.

“Ms. Loja is the mother of the three children, and they all resided at 10 Whaley Street.”

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Children Were Strangled to Death, Police Say

Four people found dead at Whaley Street home in Danbury, ConnecticutResponding to a call from a distraught man Wednesday evening, Danbury police found three children and a woman dead inside a home on Whaley Street. Read more:

According to Williams’ statement, “The children all appear to have died by strangulation, and the mother’s suspected cause of death is asphyxia by hanging.”

The New York Post reported that the children’s father discovered them in bedrooms with cords, possibly electrical cables, around their necks.

The statement continued: “Pending an official autopsy, preliminary findings indicate that Ms. Loja strangled her three children before killing herself. However, this is still an active investigation.”

Williams noted: “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.”

2. Pedro Panjon, the Children’s Father, Says He Didn’t Notice Anything Wrong Before the Murders

Pedro Panjon is Loja’s husband and the father of the children.

“I feel terrible,” he told The New York Post. “There was nothing wrong with how Sonia was acting” before the murder-suicide.

A relative described for the Post what happened when Panjon, a landscaper and carpenter, came home

“When Pedro came home from work, the kids would always rush out to his car and yell, ‘Daddy! Yay! My daddy came back!,’ especially the girl, Joselyn,” relative Digna Naulaguari told The Post.

“They would help him bring his things in, like his lunchbox and everything. On Wednesday, he came home, and the door was locked, but the door was never locked. When the kids didn’t come out … that’s when his heart broke,” Naulaguari told The Post.

According to the News Times, officers responded to the home for a “wellbeing check” and found a man who was “distraught and crying.”

Loja was found deceased in a shed in the backyard, the newspaper reported.

On Facebook, Loja filled her page with pictures of her children. “My two loves,” she wrote in 2013.

3. Loja Ran an Illegal Daycare in Her Home But Called Parents to Say She Couldn’t Watch Their Kids, Reports Say

According to The New York Post, Loja, 36, “called the parents of roughly 10 kids to tell them not to drop their children off” on the day of the deaths, which was Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

“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 Post.

“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.”

4. Loja Left a Suicide Note for Her Husband

According to The New York Post, Loja left a suicide note for her husband that read, “Sorry, Pedro, I take my kids with me.”

The Post reported that Loja had “long battled depression and had been crying for days over the shuttering of her illegal child-care business.”

“Her job was baby-sitting, but the city closed her business down, they said it was illegal. She was not working,” Naulaguari said to The Post.

According to the Hartford Courant, “The state Office of Early Childhood was investigating an unlicensed child care business at Loja’s address after receiving an anonymous complaint.”

5. The Mayor Called It a ‘Truly Horrible Event’

According to Williams’ statement, “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.”

He noted, “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.”

Mayor Dean Esposito, who responded to the scene to offer support, released a statement via Williams’ news release, saying, “A truly horrible event occurred in our city yesterday and we mourn the tragic loss of life. In the coming days, mental health and counseling services will be provided through collaboration with the Danbury Public Schools and the City of Danbury. Our community grieves for the innocent lives taken from us. We will get through this together.”

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