A grieving Connecticut community came together Friday evening to remember the three young children that were strangled by their distraught mother, who then committed suicide.
Dozens of tearful mourners killed lit candles and prayed at the Danbury house where Sonia Loja, 36, Junior Panjon, 12; Joselyn Panjon, 10 and Jonael Panjon, 5, Wednesday.
The exterior of the Whaley Street home was adorned with balloons and flowers as friends, family and neighbors of all ages remembered the young victims and struggled to comprehend the atrocity.
“I don’t understand what happened,” friend Portilla Gonzal told The News-Times. “I can’t believe it. There’s no words to say.”
Vigil attendees tried to consul husband and father Pedro Panjon, who came home from his landscaping job Wednesday evening to find his children slain and his wife’s body hanging in a backyard shed, according to police.
Panjon had asked police to conduct a wellness check on Loja after he couldn’t get ahold of her, but returned home to make the gruesome discovery before authorities arrived, a neighbor said.
Gonzal, a former co-worker of Panjon, told the paper his friend loved his children and wife, adding “they used to be a beautiful family.”
Mourner JC Diaz, 12, played volleyball and tennis with Junior, who he reportedly remembered as “really nice.”
Loja was running an unsanctioned daycare out of her home and had recently been warned by officials to shut it down. On the day of the murder-suicide, she told about 10 clients not to drop off their kids, neighbors told The Post.
Raquel Vasquez used to hire Loja to watch her 8-year-old son Jack, according to the outlet.
“She was very nice and a happy lady,” and “very sweet,” Vasquez reportedly said.