A mother who despatched her youngsters to the Connecticut daycare of a girl accused of killing her own children earlier than taking her personal life mentioned Thursday that she was shocked by the triple murder-suicide.
The girl attended a vigil for the slain household outdoors their Danbury residence Thursday evening and refused to imagine Sonia Loja, 36, would strangle her three children.
“I can’t imagine Sonia did this. I don’t imagine what’s occurred,” Nube Sucuzhanay, 33, informed The Post.
“Sonia was a great particular person. She beloved and taken care of her youngsters and was good with the children she taken care of.”
Sucuzhanay mentioned Loja got here to the US from Ecuador about 15 years in the past. Sucuzhanay trusted Loja along with her personal two youngsters and enrolled them in her daycare for seven years.
“I used to be very comfy leaving my youngsters with Sonia,” she mentioned. “[She was] simply so good with youngsters and so very good.”
Loja ran an illegal daycare out of her home and informed the mother and father of roughly 10 youngsters that she couldn’t watch them Wednesday — the identical day police imagine she killed her personal youngsters 12-year-old Junior Panjon, 10-year-old Joselyn Panjon and 5-year-old Jonael Panjon. Loja then took her personal life.
Loja reportedly strangled every little one one after the other earlier than she hanged herself inside a shed within the yard of her residence, police mentioned. Her husband and father of the kids, Pedro Panjon, discovered the our bodies when he returned residence and fainted at the grisly discovery.
Sucuzhanay was one in every of about 50 mourners who gathered outdoors the house Thursday evening for a vigil organized by the realm’s massive Ecuadorian neighborhood. The mourners sang hymns, recited prayers and lit candles for greater than an hour.
They created a makeshift memorial for the slain youngsters by inserting prayer candles, flowers, white balloons and a teddy bear on the house’s entrance steps.
A younger attendee who went to Saint Peter School with Joselyn from kindergarten to 3rd grade mentioned her late classmate was fiercely clever and sort.
“Joselyn was a really sensible, artistic and useful particular person,” Katelyn Jimenez, 11, mentioned. “Joselyn was all the time there whenever you wanted her. She would consolation anybody going via a tricky time.”
Katelyn mentioned Joselyn excelled in math and helped her when she was scuffling with math equations.
“To me, it appeared like she lived a great life,” Katelyn mentioned. “She was very optimistic. She was nice at artwork and music, however she was additionally very sensible at math.”
“I’m feeling unhappy,” she added. “She was a great classmate and pal.”
Tomas Vega, 31, was among the many many mourners who felt compelled to hitch the vigil in help of the household, regardless of not realizing Loja or her youngsters personally.
Vega, a father of two, couldn’t comprehend Loja’s violent final act.
“What would make you kill your self and take the lives of your three youngsters?” Vega requested in disbelief. “Imagine seeing your first child useless, then the subsequent one, then the third one. Something actually dangerous will need to have occurred.”
If you’re scuffling with suicidal ideas or are experiencing a psychological well being disaster and reside in New York City, you possibly can name 1-888-NYC-WELL without cost and confidential disaster counseling. If you reside outdoors the 5 boroughs, you possibly can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.