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‘It’s going to be so hard for them.’ Neighbors mourn mother, sons killed in N.H. home

Authorities search near the home Saturday but released no further information about the investigation.

Kassandra Sweeney, 25, and her two sons, 4-year-old Benjamin and 1-year-old Mason, were found shot to death in their Northfield, N.H., home Wednesday, according to New Hampshire Attorney General's office.GoFundMe

NORTHFIELD, N.H. — New Hampshire authorities Saturday searched near the home where a 25-year-old woman and her two young sons were found fatally shot earlier in the week, as unnerved neighbors mourned the deaths.

Officials offered no new details Saturday in their ongoing investigation into the shootings of Kassandra R. Sweeney and her sons, Benjamin, 4, and Mason, 1. The three were found dead in their home at 56 Wethersfield Drive in Northfield at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, and each had died from a single gunshot wound, according to the attorney general’s office.

On Saturday, investigators reiterated that they have identified “all involved parties” and said there is no threat to the general public, according to the statement, which was released by New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella, State Police Colonel Nathan Noyes, and Northfield Police Chief John Raffaelly.

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Investigators had not made any arrests in the case as of late Saturday afternoon, said Michael Garrity, a spokesman for the attorney general, in an e-mail to the Globe.

New Hampshire State Police and other law enforcement agencies searched for evidence Saturday in the areas of Wethersfield Drive, as well as Shaker, Tilton, and Laconia roads, as well as the ramp areas entering Interstate 93, the statement said.

The search activity was not the result of new information, but part of the “ongoing investigative process,” the statement said.

The Sweeneys’ Wethersfield Drive home is on a side street off Shaker Road, about 2 miles from the I-93 off-ramps onto Laconia Road. Tilton Road connects Laconia Road with Shaker Road, and passes to the north of the Sweeneys’ home.

Officers could be seen walking in groups Saturday afternoon through the trees lining Shaker Road, but by 5 p.m., heavy rain began to fall, and no officers could be seen from the road.

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On Friday, Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey W.R. Ward said that Sweeney’s husband — Sean M. Sweeney, who is the father of the two boys — is cooperating with police and prosecutors.

“The father is somebody we have been in contact with, who has been very cooperative and helpful in this investigation,” Ward said. “Our victim/witness advocate is working with him and his family and providing services. He’s obviously beyond devastated as a result of these crimes.”

The homicides in Northfield are not connected to the unsolved shootings of a Concord, N.H., couple earlier this year, authorities have said. Stephen Reid, 67, and Djeswende Reid, 66, left their home to take a walk during the afternoon of April 18, and their bodies were found April 21 near a trail in the woods. They had been both shot multiple times.

Sweeney family members asked for privacy in a message posted on a GoFundMe site set up to help with costs for memorial services and living expenses.

Jess Spaulding, 28, of Northwood, N.H.,attended Coe-Brown Northwood Academy with Kassandra Sweeney’s sister, and the two classmates graduated from the high school a few years before Kassandra did.

Spaulding said she remembered Kassandra as being really sweet, and said she was close to her sister.

People who attended school with the sisters, Spaulding said, are all heartbroken.

“I’ve seen a bunch of my classmates from back then sharing and posting about it,” Spaulding wrote in a Facebook message to the Globe. “It’s hard to believe that something like this could happen. Especially involving two children. It’s very upsetting.”

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On Wethersfield Drive, the homes are separated by leafy trees, with flower beds in the front yards and freshly mowed grass. Children’s laughter rang out from one backyard Saturday afternoon.

At the Sweeneys’ home, the scene was quiet Saturday afternoon. Bouquets of coneflowers, daisies, and white hydrangeas were left at the base of the mailbox on the edge of the street. No police were present and no one answered the doorbell.

A wooden welcome sign and a door hanging bearing the words “Sweeney family” marked the entrance to the two-story, gray home. Puzzle pieces were strewn across the steps to the entrance, and a half-painted birdhouse lay disassembled on the porch railing. A play set was in the front of the house, a pool in the back, and plastic children’s toys were scattered across the lawn.

Alex Turner, 27, who lives a few doors down from the Sweeney home, said the family purchased the home last year. He said he didn’t know them and while there is an active Facebook group for residents, Turner said he didn’t think the Sweeneys had joined.

Turner, the father of a 2-year-old child, said he was rattled by the killings.

“It really freaked me out,” he said.

Jim Nobert, 73, stood at the door of his daughter’s Wethersfield Drive home and said he saw about 10 police officers walk down the street Saturday.

Nobert expressed sympathy for the Sweeney family — news of the shooting was terrible, he said.

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“It’s going to be so hard for them,” Nobert said.

John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report.


Kate Selig can be reached at kate.selig@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kate_selig. John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.