(CBS/AP) TOLEDO, Ohio - Police believe that three children, their uncle and their grandmother died Monday in a possible murder-suicide amid a custody dispute after firefighters discovered their bodies in the garage of an Ohio home.
Authorities said firefighters used a sledgehammer to force open the door to a garage, which was barricaded shut. This is where they found five people, two dogs and a cat inside with a truck running with hoses leading from the exhaust into a car. The victims died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.
The victims were identified as 54-year-old Sandy Ford; her 32-year-old son, Andy Ford; and her grandchildren, 10-year-old Paige Hayes, 6-year-old Logan Hayes and 5-year-old Madalyn Hayes. They lived with Sandy's husband, Randy Ford, in a house located near the Michigan state line.
Randy called police Monday afternoon when he returned home and found suspicious notes in the house from his wife, son and grandkids. He said he wasn't able to enter the garage.
Sgt. Joe Heffernan said Sandy Ford primarily took care of her grandchildren at her residence for the last four years. But the children's parents, Mandy and Chris Hayes, were trying to regain full custody of them. Mandy Hayes is the Fords' daughter.
Heffernan said Sandy was upset about losing custody, and he believes that was the motive for the murder-suicide.
Heffernan told the Toledo Blade that police were called to the Ford home twice last week. Police were there Nov. 6 on a domestic violence issue concerning Sandy Ford and her daughter and again on Nov. 8 for a custody exchange, he said.
Sylvania Schools Superintendent Brad Rieger told The Blade that the three children were enrolled in Whiteford Elementary School. Paige was a fifth grader, Logan was in second grade, and Madalyn was in kindergarten. He said they have a 9-year-old sister, Blake, who attends Hillview Elementary School.