New Hampshire prosecutors confirmed Tuesday that a Derry man and his 6-year-old son died the day before in a murder-suicide accomplished with carbon monoxide poisoning.
The announcement from Attorney General Gordon Gordon J. MacDonald’s office came after the medical examiner concluded the autopsies of Matthew Edmunds, 39, and his child, Preston Connor Edmunds, who were found dead Monday in a trailer they shared.
“The investigation to date reveals that this was a murder/suicide with Matthew Edmunds, age 39, murdering his son,” MacDonald’s office said in a statement.
Derry police were asked to perform a well-being check at the Edmunds residence on Kendall Pond Road around 12:30 p.m. Monday and made a horrific discovery after forcing their way into the mobile home and a locked bedroom, according to the news release.
“Police observed that the room had been sealed from the inside using duct tape and a blanket,” the statement said. “Also in the room, police located two charcoal grills each containing burnt charcoal and ash. Police found a sign hanging from the living room ceiling fan. The sign warned police that they ‘will find me and my son’ in the bedroom and to be aware of ‘dangerous carbon monoxide levels.’ ”
Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin J. Agati said in a phone interview that Edmunds’s older son, Connor, had drowned in 2009, before Preston was born.
In addition, Agati said that Matthew Edmunds on Monday left “multiple pages” of writing that made “his intentions pretty clear.”
Agati said investigators will analyze the note in an effort to determine why Edmunds killed Preston and himself.
“The why is kind of the big question here,” Agati said.
Dr. Jennie V. Duval, New Hampshire’s chief medical examiner, had the grim task of performing the autopsies Tuesday.
“Dr. Duval determined that the cause of death of Preston Edmunds was carbon monoxide poisoning and the manner of death was homicide,” said the statement from MacDonald’s office. “Dr. Duval also determined that the cause of death of Matthew Edmunds was carbon monoxide poisoning and the manner of death was suicide. The investigation into this matter will continue. No further information is expected until final toxicology reports are completed, which is estimated to take several months.”
Law enforcement officials said Edmunds and his son lived alone.Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.