Dean Sparks, executive director of Lucas County Children Services, said Mandy and Chris Hayes -- the parents of the three deceased children -- asked Mrs. Hayes' parents, Sandy and Randy Ford, to take care of the children in 2009.
"The child with the parents was displaying some significant behavior problems," Mr. Sparks said, declining to elaborate on what the behavioral issues were. "Mom was overwhelmed and asked her parents to take the children."
RELATED: 5 found dead in West Toledo home
The children -- Paige Hayes, 10, Logan Hayes, 7, and Madalyn Hayes, 5, were found dead in a car inside of their grandparents' garage on Monday, along with Mrs. Ford, 56, and their uncle, Andy Ford, 32.
Randy Ford returned home from work Monday afternoon and found notes in the home that caused him to be concerned about the well-being of his family. Police and fire crews were called at 3:17 p.m. and arrived at 5142 Harvest Lane at 3:26 p.m.
Fire crews used a sledgehammer to force entry into the garage -- which was locked from the inside and "barricaded" -- where they found the five people, along with two dogs and a cat, dead inside a blue Honda Civic.
Hoses were put in the exhaust of a running truck, also parked in the garage, and fed into a back passenger side window of the Civic.
The notes left by Mrs. Ford, Andy Ford, and the children indicate that the adults conspired to kill themselves and the children, police have said. Police declined to release the notes and declined to say how many were left, what they said, or who they were addressed to.
Police have said that Mrs. Ford was apparently upset that the children were to go back to live with their parents at their Sylvania home, which is said to be the motive for the murders and suicides.
Mr. Sparks said that the children went back to live with their parents on Saturday; he declined to say why they were at the grandparents' home in West Toledo on Monday.
“[Sandy Ford] wanted to prevent the mother [Mandy Hayes] from coming to take the children, but we had no legal authority to do that,” Mr. Sparks said.
He added that a case worker was working with the family because of the conflict, but there was “no indication that this would happen.”