BROCKTON — On Thursday night, Ariana Rosa-Soares dropped one of her two daughters off at a friend’s house, and took her other little girl, 9-year-old Marley Soares, back to their Morgan Street home.
She never returned to pick up the older child, Rosa-Soares’s father said, leaving her friend puzzled and worried.
Rosa-Soares, 32, had been struggling, according to friends and family; she had talked of suicide.
On Friday morning, police found the bodies of Rosa-Soares and Marley hanging in the basement of their home.
Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said the deaths were being investigated as homicides. It was too early, he said, to determine whether the deaths were a murder-suicide, but he said there was no threat to the public.
“I feel dead. I feel mad. I’m pissed,” said Jose Rosa, Rosa-Soares’s father and Marley’s grandfather, as he stood at the end of Morgan Street. Around him, family members stood clustered in small groups, some weeping, others silent and smoking.
“I don’t have a name to say this,” Jose Rosa said. “Disgusting? Or ugly? It’s another name, I can’t think about it.”
The bodies were discovered at 9:48 a.m., after a family friend called for help, Cruz said during a news conference at the scene. Rosa said the woman with whom his daughter left her older child was the friend who called. The woman had come to find out why Rosa-Soares had not returned, she said.
Cruz said the circumstances of the past two days were under investigation.
“It’s a terrible tragedy,” Cruz said.
Marley would have turned 10 years old next week, according to court documents.
Written information was discovered inside the home, Cruz said, but more investigation would be needed before authorities could say who wrote it, he said.
Jose Rosa said he had long been worried his daughter could not take care of her children. He had seen her slap and kick them, he said. “My daughter, she is not a good mother,” Rosa said. “I tried to get help . . . to stop what happened now.”
Rosa said he had repeatedly called child welfare authorities to ask them to take the children from the home, though he was not clear about which agency he had contacted.
Officials from the state Department of Children and Families said in a statement the agency “has not received any reports resulting from this incident,” and that it “does not currently have an open case with the family.”
A spokesman declined to say whether the department had any closed cases with the family.
Claudia Gomes, a friend of Rosa-Soares’s, described her as a good mother who spoiled her children. Rosa-Soares worked at an assisted-living community in Stoughton, said Gomes. Her last Facebook post was a picture of herself, smiling with her hand on her hip, clad in a furry vest and skinny jeans.
“She’s very nice, very sweet,” Gomes said. “She likes to help everybody.”
But, Gomes acknowledged, Rosa-Soares had troubles. She had talked in the past of suicide, but Gomes had told her she could not take her own life because she had two little girls. Rosa-Soares had divorced her husband, Marley’s father, about a year ago, said Gomes, but continued to fight with him.
Court records in Brockton show that Rosa-Soares had a restraining order against Marley’s father, which he had allegedly violated twice early last year. Rosa-Soares also had a restraining order against the father of her other daughter, according to court records.
Neither man could be reached for comment Friday night.
“She’s been through a lot. She’s been stressed out,” Gomes said. “I’ve been talking to her, but I didn’t think it would come to this.”
Late last month, Gomes said, Rosa-Soares posted a message on Facebook saying someone close to her had threatened her.
“now he tries to Kill me,” read the post, which Gomes shared. “He said is going to make sure I DiE.”
Cruz said he did not have information or comment about the Facebook post. He said that domestic violence “doesn’t appear to be something that’s occurred here.”
On Friday, crime-scene tape kept family and friends at a distance from the home, but at one point, wailing relatives walked through the police tape to stand in front of the house to hold each other and weep.
Jose Rosa said his granddaughters were close.
“They love to dance,” he said, a smile crossing his face. He took his wallet from his pocket and pulled out two portraits of the little girls.
He held up the first one: Marley smiles shyly, her hair in braids.
Then he held up the second: Marley’s sister, grinning widely against a bright red background.
“This one,” he said quietly. “She’s the lucky one.”