Caught up in a family disagreement over who should care for three young children, a grandmother and her son barricaded themselves and the kids in a garage and filled it with deadly carbon monoxide gas. All five died.
Police spent Tuesday trying to explain the heartbreaking scene discovered a day earlier at the home of 54-year-old Sandy Ford and her son Andy in a quiet Toledo neighborhood.
Firefighter's using a sledgehammer broke down the garage door to find the bodies of 5-year-old Madalyn Hayes, her 6-year-old brother Logan and 10-year-old sister Paige slumped inside a car, along with their grandmother and uncle. Two hoses attached to the exhaust of a pickup truck pumped gas fumes through the car's rear window.
Police said letters inside the house indicated the woman and her son plotted the murder-suicide, beginning by picking up the children from school Monday morning after their mother had dropped them off earlier.
They also had disabled the garage door opener and nailed plywood over the windows, said Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan. He wouldn't say what was in the letters, but it appeared some were written by the children.
Authorities were called to the home by the children's frantic grandfather after he discovered the letters and was unable to force open the garage door. Despite the grisly scene, investigators found no signs the children were forced into the car and believe all five died of carbon monoxide poisoning.