Police are suspecting a murder-suicide in the deaths of five people whose bodies were found in a Honda Civic inside a Toledo, Oh., garage. Firefighters broke down the barricaded garage door to find the bodies of 54-year-old Sandy Ford, her 32-year-old son, Andy Ford, and her grandchildren, 10-year-old Paige Hayes, 6-year-old Logan Hayes and 5-year-old Madalyn Hayes, as well as two dogs and a cat. The cause of death is suspected to be carbon monoxide poisoning; police found a hose from a running truck channeling exhaust into the Civic.
Sandy Ford’s husband, Randy Ford, called police Monday after being unable to open the garage. He told police that he came home to find notes in the house from his wife and grandchildren. Sgt. Joe Heffernan believes a custody battle was the motive for the murder-suicide. Sandy Ford’s daughter, Mandy Hayes, and their father, Chris Hayes, had been trying to regain custody of the children, who’d been cared for by Ford since 2009.
Police were aware of the custody battle, Heffernan said. Officers had come to the Ford house twice this month, once on a report of domestic violence between Ford and her daughter, and another time for a custody exchange.