A family of five and their three pets were found dead in an Ohio garage on Monday in what police suspect was a murder-suicide.
Police believe that a 54-year-old grandmother who feared losing custody of her grandchildren helped to stage a murder suicide that resulted in a total of eight deaths, including three pets. The grandmother, Sandy Ford, had taken custody of the three children for the past four years, according to an Associated Press report. But her daughter, Mandy Hayes, and the children's father Chris Hayes, were looking to regain custody, which allegedly left Ford upset.
The bodies were discovered by Ford's husband, Randy, who called police on Monday afternoon stating that he had found "suspicious" notes, and could not gain access to the garage.
Sandy Ford was found dead along with her 32-year-old son Andy Ford who also lived in the house, 10-year-old Paige Hayes, 6-year-old Logan Hayes and 5-year-old Madalyn Hayes.
Dean Sparks, executive director of Lucas County Children Services, told The Blade that the children had been put in Ford's custody in 2009. He did not offer up any other information about the case, other than to call it a "horrible tragedy."
"One minute they're doing the leaves, and then the next there are cop cars all over," Eric Pieper, a neighbor who lived on the same street said. He noted that there had been nothing suspicious about the house in the past few weeks outside of a police car that he saw last Thursday.
In addition to the five dead bodies, firefighters, who were forced to use a sledgehammer in order to gain access to the garage, also found two dead dogs and a dead cat. All of the bodies were found in the family truck, which was left running. Police believe their deaths were the result of carbon monoxide poisoning.