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The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Amber alert for missing toddler and infant brother ends in tragic murder-suicide at hands of grandma

Murdered childrenAn Amber alert for two missing Connecticut children was called off at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, but the outcome was anything but happy. Police found the van driven by the boys’ grandmother parked near Lake of Isles in Preston, in the southeastern part of the state. Inside were three bodies, one belonging to 2-year-old Alton Perry, another to his 6-month-old brother Ashton. The third was that of their grandmother, 47-year-old Debra Denison, who police suspect murdered the children before taking her own life.

The New York Post reports that Denison, who is said to have had bipolar disorder and a history of mental health problems, picked up the two young children at daycare as prearranged. However, instead of bringing them home so that Alton could open his birthday presents, she drove them to a neighboring town and shot and killed them both, then turned the gun on herself.

Sgt. Donna Tadiello of the Connecticut State Police said a suicide note was recovered but declined to say where it was found.

The children’s distraught mother, Brenda Perry, grimly acknowledged that Alton died on his second birthday. “I wanted him to come home and play with his new toys and have a good day,” she told WVIT-TV amid sobs.

Nikki Salaun, director of the Kidds & Co. daycare center in North Stonington, may have been the last person to see the ill-fated trio alive. According to the Post, she helped Denison buckled the children into her ban. When Salaun discovered that the grandmother had taken a wrong car seat but was unable to reach by phone after repeated attempts, she alerted the boys’ mother who, in turn, notified police.

Denison had a 13-year-year-old son of her own and said in her suicide note that God was watching over him on Tuesday.

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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