MANCHESTER — Authorities officially identified Robert and Constance Dion of 210 Mooresville Road as homicide victims Thursday as they continue to search for a "person of interest" — the Dions' son.
Investigators, however, did not say how Robert Dion, 71, and Constance Dion, 67, died. Their bodies were discovered Monday afternoon after a suspicious fire at their 210 Mooresville Road home.
"Right at this point in time we are not releasing the cause of death because we need to protect necessary investigative information," Senior Assistant Attorney General Janice Rundles said of the autopsy results.
She would not say if investigators determined when the couple died.
"We're definitely looking at all information about when the victims were last seen," Rundles said.
Police continue to search for the couple's son, Matthew Dion, 38, who lived with them.
Attorney James A. Normand of Normand & Associates, who represents Roger Mitchell, a nephew of the Dions and the temporary administrator of their estates, issued a statement from the family in which they said they were saddened the Dions' deaths were confirmed and it is now a homicide investigation.
They described the Dions as "being delightful, happy individuals who rejoiced in their friendship with others."
Robert Dion was a member of a Thursday night mixed bowling league at Spare Time Bowling on Valley Street. Lynda Tellier, an officer of the league who said she has been friends with Dion for about 10 years, said the league's members were in shock at losing "an awesome guy."
"Our whole league is devastated over this," she said Thursday evening after holding a league meeting to ask members to sign sympathy cards. "Tonight (the bowling is) not fun. We're just going through the motions."
Tellier said Dion was among the original members of his team.
He was an "average bowler" who put everyone else at ease by being laid back, helping inexperienced players and sharing a good joke, she said.
"Make sure you say all nice things because he was an awesome person," Tellier said.
She said Thursday's confirmation that Dion and his wife had died deepened the shock felt by the 75-member bowling league.
"It made it absolute," she said. "Because in the back of your mind, you're still thinking 'No, it couldn't be.'"
Robert Dion was an avid postage stamp collector, a hobby he enjoyed from his youth; he retired as postmaster of the North Salem Post Office. Constance Dion was an avid quilter and seamstress, often called on by family to help with various hem alterations and clothing mends.
In the prepared statement, the family said it understood police are seeking the Dions' son for questioning, but said they pass no judgement and hope Matthew Dion will speak with investigators in the near future.
They also encouraged friends and acquaintances of the Dions to call Normand or police with any information they may have regarding the Dions' activities in recent weeks, regardless of whether it seems important.
Investigators said Matthew Dion is believed to be using a white 2009 Nissan Altima with New Hampshire registration 341 0587. Anyone with information regarding Dion's whereabouts is asked to call 911, or Manchester police at (603) 668-8711.