By NANCY WEST, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward said at a news conference Friday that everyone involved in the homicides of a Northfield mother and her two sons is known to prosecutors.
But Ward insisted again that no arrests or charges have been filed in connection with the three homicides, and reiterated that there is no threat to the public.
Ward raised the question by his answers that someone has possibly been arrested on unrelated charges, or is otherwise somehow known for whatever reason not to be a public threat.
Ward said several times at the press conference that authorities can account for everyone involved in Wednesday’s slayings of Kassandra Sweeney, 25, and her two sons, Benjamin Sweeney, 4, and Mason Sweeney, 1. They each died from a single gunshot wound in their 56 Wethersfield Drive home in Northfield. Their deaths have all been ruled homicides.
“I’ve not said we know who did it,” Ward said. “We’ve identified all the parties involved meaning they are accounted for so there’s no reason to believe the public is in any sort of danger from say a perpetrator of this offense.”
Ward said he doesn’t believe the murders were random.
“I can’t comment directly on a suspect but when I say all parties, I mean anyone involved in this incident,” Ward said.
“People would need to be worried if we had not identified all of the parties involved. People may need to be worried if we believed someone was on the loose or unaccounted for,” Ward said.
But that is not the case, he said.
Ward said Sean Sweeney, the husband and father of the victims, has been very cooperative with the investigation and he and his family are receiving services from the office’s victim witness advocate.
“He’s obviously beyond devastated as a result of these crimes,” Ward said of Sean Sweeney.
Ward said several times that no one has been arrested or charged in the matter.
The Attorney General’s Office has said that on Aug. 3 at about 11:33 a.m., law enforcement officers arrived at the Northfield home after a 911 call for service and found the three deceased inside the home. Northfield is a small town just south of Tilton in the Lakes Region.
In Thursday’s news release that first identified the victims by name, the Attorney General’s Office said then: “At this point in the investigation, investigators have identified all involved parties and there is no threat to the general public.”
Ward said the investigation remains active and ongoing and reminded reporters that the investigation was still only 48 hours old.
A GoFund Me page started by Alizabeth Dawson had raised about $29,500 by 8:30 p.m. Friday. It was to help Sean Sweeney with living expenses and Sean’s and Kassandra’s parents pay for funeral costs, according to the page.
Dawson described herself as a cousin and said: “Kassandra, one of the most genuine and beautiful people you could ever meet and her two baby boys were taken from us.”
“…Our family is beyond devastated,” Dawson wrote on the GoFundMe page.
The Attorney General’s Office has been extremely busy with 21 homicides this year so far, more than the average of about 19, according to spokesman Mike Garrity. On Friday, they were called to a man’s suspicious death outside a gas station in Nashua, and an unrelated suspicious death of a woman in Nashua Friday night.
Attorney General John M. Formella and Nashua Police Chief Kevin Rourke announced shortly before 9 p.m. Friday that an arrest had been made in the man’s suspicious death.
Upon arriving at the Nashua gas station officers discovered Lee Knoetig, 53, laying outside the business, unresponsive and with an apparent gunshot wound to his chest and was pronounced dead.
Alexander Wheeler, 19, of Nashua, has been arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder for recklessly causing the death of Mr. Knoetig under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life, by shooting him, according to a news release.