Family speaks out after brothers killed by grandmother - News, Weather & Sports

Family speaks out after North Stonington brothers killed by grandmother


The family of the two little boys who police said were kidnapped and killed by the grandmother spoke out for the first time since the incident Thursday afternoon.

"Just can't explain it. I mean these were two babies, innocent little children," said Robert White, who is the great uncle of Alton and Ashton Perry. "I'm just trying to absorb it."

On Tuesday night, police said the boys' grandmother, Debra Denison, 47, picked up Alton, 2, and Ashton, 6 months, from daycare and disappeared.

Troopers said they found a suicide note from Denison and issued an Amber Alert.

Hours later, all three were found dead in Denison's parked car near Lake of Isles in Preston. Police believe it was a double murder/suicide.

"They are in dire need of their space and privacy as they try to grieve and mourn the unbearable loss of their two children," White said about the boys' family.

Police said Denison was on the pickup list at Kidds & Co. Daycare where the children attended, and on Thursday, the family said it does not blame the company in any way.

"Jeremy and Brenda know the proper protocol was followed on releasing the children to their grandmother that afternoon," White said.

Court documents show mental illness had plagued Denison long before. In divorce proceedings filed in 1989, her second husband alleged she had attempted suicide twice.

He was concerned his children were in danger with Denison and she wasn't able to care for them, according to court documents. The judge agreed in that instance and granted custody of the two children they shared together to Denison's ex-husband.

Denison's oldest son, Christopher Allen, is currently in jail after being convicted of stabbing a man to death during a robbery on board a boat in Mystic.

In their statement Thursday, the Perry family said Denison suffered from DID, or dissociative identity disorder, which they describe as a split personality disorder. 

However, they said she had been in remission for nearly a year and a half and cleared by a physician.

"What caused it and why is unknown," said North Stonington First Selectman Nick Mullane. "But, we have to be more aware that people who have mental health problems have to be helped and have to be treated different. And treatment has to be made available to them, so these types of things don't happen."

A candlelight vigil is planned for Friday at the North Stonington Recreation Facility on Rocky Hollow Road at 7 p.m.

"They want to show the family that they really care," Mullane said. "This is an unbelievable tragedy and it just didn't make sense in any way, shape or form."

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