Officials in New Hampshire have confirmed that Mercedes Tremblay and her son Mason died in mid-December from a murder-suicide.
Mercedes, 25, and Mason, 2, were found dead inside her Manchester, New Hampshire, condo on Dec. 14, 2020.
The mother killed herself after putting Mason in a closet and propping bedroom furniture up against “the outside of the closet door, preventing Mason from fully opening the door,” according to a statement. “Mason’s body was found pinned in the partially open door, between the closet door and doorframe.”
Officials attributed Mason’s death to compressional asphyxia — or the prevention of respiration caused by an external pressure on the body. Malnutrition was listed as a contributing factor in the boy’s death.
It was unclear how long Mason was stuck in the closet before his death.
“Based upon the information available at this time, it appears that Ms. Tremblay caused the death of Mason,” reads the statement from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.
The New Hampshire Union Leader reports Tremblay had been accused of verbally abusing her son and being rough with him, as well as abusing her mother Rhonda Wilkens-Hickey, 54, and her mother’s boyfriend, Pierre Brendan.
Brendan, the outlet reports, said in one police filing that her child “cries and does not want to go with her when [Tremblay] picks him up.” He also told police Tremblay was rough with the child and verbally abusive.
An officer wrote in one report, per the outlet, that Wilkens-Hickey “realizes some of the struggles [Tremblay] is facing and, at the end of the day, is still her daughter and wants to help her in any way possible.”