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Tracy Do, 46, died by suicide from “sharp-force injuries of torso and extremities,” and her daughter Layla Malon’s drowning death has been declared a homicide, Westport police and the state medical examiner’s office said Friday, according to the Hartford Courant.
The mother’s body was discovered by another daughter, 13-year-old Alexis Malon, FOX 61 of Hartford reported.
“At that point, the officers checked the interior to the house to see if there was anyone else inside and unfortunately that’s when they found the body of the 7-year-old child,” Lt. David Wolf of the Westport police told the station.
Do had been involved in a custody battle over two daughters with her former partner, Eric John Malon, Connecticut Superior Court documents show, according to the New York Post.
The deaths shocked neighbors in the affluent community, one resident told Fox News.
“They were super-nice people,” said a man picking up his mail outside a nearby home, who requested anonymity. “They’d always be smiling. … They were a super-nice family. No issues. That’s kind of what it seemed like.”
“They were a super-nice family. No issues. That’s kind of what it seemed like.”
The neighbor said Do and her former partner moved in about four or five years ago and put a considerable amount of work into their house over that time. He said they usually decorated their home with “an exorbitant” display during holiday time.
“I think one year they won an award for best decorations,” he said. “So, as a neighbor [this situation] is like the least-suspected thing. Couldn’t see that coming from a mile away.”
The neighbor said he saw “a ton of cop cars” outside the house Thursday but didn’t know what happened until seeing a TV report Friday.
“I’m sure for the people who knew them, it’s devastating,” he told Fox News. “I can’t even imagine.”
Thomas Scarice, the local school superintendent, wrote to parents that Do’s daughter attended a local school, according to the Courant.
“Late this afternoon, we were informed of the untimely and tragic loss of one of our parents and her beloved daughter. There are no words that could console the sense of sorrow we feel by this unspeakable tragedy. We want to express our deepest condolences to all those impacted by this heartbreaking loss,” he said, according to the newspaper.
“There are no words that could console the sense of sorrow we feel by this unspeakable tragedy.”
Both Do and the girl were found dead around 4 p.m. Thursday after emergency responders were called to their home on a report of an unresponsive woman, the Courant reported.
Police arriving at the scene first found Do’s body and then found the child. Both were already dead, according to the Courant.
“This is a horrible tragedy, and the police department is keeping the family as well as the community that was so deeply affected by this in our thoughts and prayers,” Westport police Chief Foti Koskinas said in a statement Friday.
The estranged couple’s custody battle reportedly involved several lawsuits.
Do had claimed she worked for her former partner’s construction company for years without compensation and that he had promised to provide a home for her and the girls if the couple’s relationship ended, the Courant reported, citing court documents.
Malon claimed Do refused to pay him $10,000 a month rent for the house, according to the Post.
The partner, who the Courant did not name, recently tried to have Do evicted from the Westport home, with a judge recently granting the woman until July 16 to respond to the partner’s accusations, the report said.
Details about the whereabouts of the former partner and 13-year-old daughter Alexis Malon were unclear, according to reports.
The two-story residence located at 1 Lyndale Park is a 4,457-square-foot home with five bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, according to online real estate marketplace company Zillow. It is not currently listed for sale. It sits on the corner of a private drive and Weston Road, just off Route 15 and is located roughly 2 miles north of Westport’s downtown. A cut stone wall topped with wrought iron fences wraps around the front property.
Online records show that the home and property were last appraised in 2020 at a value of $1,460,400. The owner is listed as Eric Malon, but it was unclear if he currently lived at the home.
Westport is a town in Fairfield County along the Long Island Sound within Connecticut’s Gold Coast. It is about 52 miles northeast of New York City.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and Emmett Jones contributed to this story.