Deaths of 3 children premeditated at least 4 days before they were killed

11/16/2012
BLADE STAFF
Paige, Madalyn, and Logan Hayes with their grandmother, Sandy Ford.
Paige, Madalyn, and Logan Hayes with their grandmother, Sandy Ford.

Premeditation for the carbon monoxide deaths of three children started at least four days before they were apparently killed by their grandmother and uncle, who also died in the incident.

During a press conference Friday, Toledo police Capt. Wes Bombrys, said investigators found receipts, dated Nov. 8, for items found in the Harvest Lane garage where Paige Hayes, 10, Logan Hayes, 7, and Madalyn Hayes 5, were found dead inside of a car with their grandmother, Sandy Ford, 56, and Andy Ford, 32.

Police did not comment on whether the children knew what was happening, but said that in the car they found a note written by the children, along with food and coloring books.

Fire crews called to 5142 Harvest on Monday afternoon had to break into the unattached garage using a sledgehammer after Mrs. Ford's husband, Randy, 60, found "suspicious" notes and couldn't get into the garage, which had been barricaded shut.

Hoses in the exhaust of a running truck pumped fumes into the rear passenger window of a blue Honda Civic, where the family was sitting.

Police said Mrs. Ford and her husband had been taking care of the children since 2009 so the children's parents, Chris and Mandy Hayes, of Sylvania Township, could focus on a fourth child who had "behavioral issues."

Mrs. Hayes and Mrs. Ford began to discuss the children moving back in to the Hayes' home about a month before the deaths. Mrs. Ford apparently did not want the children to leave, apparently believing there were still "issues" at home.

Mrs. Hayes dropped her children off at Whiteford Elementary School at about 8:20 a.m. Monday. Mrs. Ford was waiting in the school's lobby, and took the children from school and apparently returned to the West Toledo home.

The school called Mrs. Hayes to let them know the children were not in class, at which time Mrs. Hayes called Sylvania Township police.

Chief Robert Boehme, who was also at the Friday press conference, said Mrs. Hayes, "never said the children were in imminent danger" and that a Sylvania Township officer went out to the house several times on Monday attempting to make contact with Mrs. Ford.

The officer also called cell phone numbers for Mrs. Ford, Mr. Ford, and Andy Ford. He also attempted to call Mr. Ford, who was at work Monday, but was not able to make contact with any of the family members.

At 1:25 p.m., police put out a state-wide all-points bulletin looking for the children. They also attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate Mrs. Ford's cellphone using a GPS tracker.

"We did everything we could," Chief Boehme said.

That afternoon, the Sylvania Township officer went back to the Harvest Lane home and made contact with Mr. Ford who had returned home from work. The officer asked Mr. Ford to try to contact his wife.

The officer left, and shortly after, Mr. Ford found a note, became concerned, and called Mrs. Hayes, who then called Sylvania Township police.

Once Mr. Ford realized he could not get into the garage, he called 911 at 3:17 p.m.

Police were on scene at 3:26 p.m.

All five, plus two family dogs and a cat, were pronounced dead at the scene.