Ohio family of 5 with dogs and cats found poisoned to death

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By: authorname 

A family of 5 with cats and dogs were found poisoned to death in a home in Ohio, according to police reports.

Firefighters used a sledge hammer to force open a barricaded door to the family garage and found five people, two dogs and a cat inside, all dead of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in a possible murder-suicide amid a custody dispute.

The bodies of three children, their uncle and grandmother were found Monday, in a car in the garage, and a truck ran with hoses leading from the exhaust into the car, police said.

They were identified as 54-year-old Sandy Ford, and her son, 32-year-old Andy Ford, and her grandchildren, 10-year-old Paige Hayes, 6-year-old Logan Hayes, and 5-year-old Madalyn Hayes.

The children and Andy Ford all lived with Sandy and her husband, Randy, in the house located in a residential neighborhood near the border of the state of Michigan.

Sgt. Joe Heffernan said Sandy Ford had taken custody of children in her home for the past four years, but their parents, Ford's daughter, Mandy Hayes, and the father of her children, Chris Hayes, were trying to regain custody of them. He said Sandy Ford was upset about it, and he believed that was the motive for the murder-suicide.

Randy Ford called police Monday afternoon to say he had returned home and found suspicious notes in the house of his wife, son and grandchildren. He said he could not get into the garage.

Dean Sparks, executive director of Children Services of Lucas County, said Monday that the children were placed in the custody of Ford in 2009.

He said he did not immediately know much information about the case, but he called it a terrible tragedy.

Heffernan said that Toledo police were called to Ford's home twice last week. The police were there on November 6 because of domestic violence between Sandy Ford and her daughter, and again on November 8 during an exchange of custody, he said.

Doug Hall, a neighbor who lives across the street, said he saw the son of Ford and the children raking leaves last week. He said the only thing he has noticed strange was a police car at the home on November 8. He said he did not know why they were there.

Another neighbor said he saw the children helping with yard work and play in the leaves just days ago.
"One minute they're doing the leaves, and then the next, there are police cars everywhere," Eric Pieper said.