Murder-suicide: Mother of 6-year-old victim knew her ex-husband 'wasn't well'

By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader
February 17. 2018 9:33PM
Preston Connor Edmunds 

DERRY - The mother of murder victim Preston Connor Edmunds, 6, who died with his father of carbon monoxide poisoning last week, said she knew her ex-husband "wasn't well," but he had agreed to changes in the parenting plan just before their deaths.

"I knew he wasn't well. I tried to help him. I offered to take Preston so that he could go and get help and he refused," Carin Edmunds said during a phone interview Saturday.

She said the state should consider a law that would permit authorities to pursue mental health treatment for someone even if that individual refuses to receive it.

"If people are seeing somebody out of sorts, they have to try to get them help," Carin Edmunds said.

"If they need to check him into counseling, do it right away so something like this can be prevented but it's true that right now, you can't force people to get help."

New Hampshire has a civil commitment law that permits authorities to go into a court and ask a judge to require treatment for someone with severe mental illness who won't seek care voluntarily.

State prosecutors were treating the deaths of Matt Edmunds, 39, and Preston as a murder-suicide.

Both were found Monday in a bedroom in their locked mobile home at the Kendall Pond Community mobile home park.

Inside were two charcoal grills, each with burned charcoal and ash. A sign on the living room ceiling fan read that police "will find me and my son" in the bedroom and to be aware of "dangerous carbon monoxide levels."

Last September, the Edmunds signed a divorce decree and parenting plan giving Matt full custody of Preston with Carin seeing him every other weekend and during school vacations.

The last time she saw Preston was last month.

But Carin said Matt agreed recently to a change in the plan so she could see Preston for a week at a time. She hoped this would allow Matt to get the help he needed.

She received the papers at her Kingfield, Maine, home just before the pair died.

"We were still working out the details of that, where we would pick him up, but Matt was OK with that," she said.

Authorities are investigating whether Preston's murder was connected to his brother, Connor, Matt and Carin Edmunds' son who drowned in March 2009 at the same age of 6 when the boy fell through the ice of his grandparents' backyard swimming pool in Derry.

"I think it played a role. Matt did have a hard time dealing with his grief about Connor," she said.

Carin said she'll always remember Preston as a fun-loving child who loved playing games on his iPad, going to the park or the beach and enjoying time with classmates at Wonder Years Child Care Center in Derry.

"He just loved life and was a joy to be around. He left a lasting impression on people," she said.

Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium said calling hours for Preston Connor Edmunds will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. today at the funeral home's 290 Mammoth Road facility in Londonderry.

The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Monday in the funeral home with cremation to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made at www.gofundme.com/preston-connor-edmunds-funeral. To send a condolence visit www.peabodyfuneralhome.com.

klandrigan@unionleader.com


Human InterestCrimeDeaths in the newsDerry

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