By DAMIEN FISHER, InDepthNH.org
MANCHESTER – The woman found dead in a Bodwell Road apartment last week along with her two-year-old son had been reported to the Division for Children Youth and Families for alleged child abuse, according to documents obtained by InDepthNH.org.
Mercedes Tremblay, 25, died as the result of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the New Hampshire Medical Examiner. Her son, Mason Tremblay was also found dead, though the cause and manner of his death have not yet been released. Their bodies were found on Dec. 14.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has asked the public for information on Tremblay’s whereabouts between Dec. 6 and the day her body was found.
According to Manchester police reports obtained through a right-to-know request, Pierre Brendan, the boyfriend of Tremblay’s mother, Rhonda Wilkins-Hickey, told police he had seen Tremblay be abusive toward a child.
The name of the child is redacted in the police reports, but the reports indicate that the child in question is Tremblay’s son, Mason Tremblay. Brendan told police on May 15 about the alleged abuse.
“Pierre said that he does not know what is wrong with Mercedes or what goes on when they are not at his apartment, but said he finds it odd that (the child) cries and does not want to go with her when she picks him up. He said that (Tremblay) is abusive, but then said she can be verbally abusive and that he has seen her yell at (the child) and roughly pull him by the arm in the past,” Manchester Police Detective Carrissa Pelletier wrote in her report.
Police first got involved on May 7 when Tremblay allegedly assaulted her mother and Brendan during an incident at Wilkins-Hickey’s apartment. Tremblay allegedly punched and scratched her mother, and hit Brendan. The incident ended with Tremblay allegedly grabbing the child and storming out of the house, according to the report. Police reports indicate that the report was referred to DCYF on May 8.
Wilkins-Hickey spoke to Pelletier on May 23 and told the detective that she did not want to press charges against her daughter. Wilkins-Hickey told Pelletier that Tremblay blamed her mother for the then- ongoing DCYF investigation, and was not allowing her to see Mason Tremblay, according to Pelletier’s report.
Brendan told police that Tremblay was dealing with emotional and mental health issues, according to the reports. Wilkins-Hickey said her daughter was going through “issues.”
Tremblay talked to Pelletier on May 23 and claimed that Brendan and Wilkins-Hickey had been drinking on the day of the incident and she denied their version of events.
“She said she just wants to move past this incident and start over with her son,” Pelletier wrote.
The criminal investigation into the alleged domestic violence incident was then closed, but the status of the DCYF involvement at this point is not known.
Wilkins-Hickey did not respond to a request for comment.
Kate Giaquinto, director of communications for the Attorney General, declined to comment on this story.
“This is an active and ongoing investigation and we are unable to comment further at this time. When more information is available, we will provide it in a news release,” Giaquinto said last week.
Jake Leon, spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that oversees DCYF, also declined to comment on the matter.
“State and federal laws require us to protect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals who may be involved with DCYF,” Leon said.
Tremblay and her mother had a tumultuous relationship, according to court records. Tremblay was charged with two counts of criminal mischief in 2014 for allegedly kicking in a door at her mother’s house. Both of those charges were later dropped.
In 2018, Wilkins-Hickey was charged with simple assault for allegedly punching Tremblay. She was also charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. That case was resolved with prosecutors dropping the assault and resisting arrest charges as part of a plea agreement.