EAST HAVEN --The woman whose two sons were killed in a gas main leak in their East Haven home on Tuesday has been identified.
Leroya Moore, also known as Leroya White, 36, of East Haven, was injured in the gas main leak that killed her 5- and 7-year-olds and hospitalized three officers. According to East Haven assessor records, Moore owns 541 Strong St., the address of the home in which the incident occurred.
Moore has an extensive criminal history, according to judicial records, including a risk of injury to a child charge in 2006 that led to a suspended 8-year jail sentence.
There is also a pending case against Moore in which she is charged with assault in the third degree and breach of peace in the second degree. That incident allegedly occurred on September 26, 2014, and she was arrested on April 15 of this year. She is due in court later this month.
Police tape is still in place in front of the Strong Street home in East Haven, more than a day after officers responded to a medical emergency around 2:41 p.m Tuesday, as the investigation continues.
A gas leak caused the deaths and injuries, officers said, though they said they were unsure if it was a gas leak or breakage. Police Chief Brent Larrabee said that based on his observation, it appeared the gas had been turned on.
The deaths are considered suspicious, and Larrabee said the bodies had been there for some time, possibly more than 24 hours.
Wednesday, police released the 911 calls related to the case. Moore's friend tried to check on her after she threatened to hurt herself, then she called for help.
"My friend sent me a letter that she was going to kill herself and that her mom is the beneficiary," the caller told the emergency dispatcher.
The three officers taken to the hospital suffered from exposure to the gas. Moore also was taken to the hospital due to her exposure to the gas, as well as injuries on her arms that seem to have been self-inflicted, based on the 911 calls. None of the injuries to the officers or woman are considered life-threatening, and all are conscious, Larrabee said.
State Police Major Crimes Unit and the state medical officer have joined East Haven Police to investigate the issue, which is near the intersection with View Street.
Neighbors in the area call their community “close knit.” They’re not sure if they’ll recover emotionally.
“Nothing ever happened on this street and it’s definitely going to be something I’ll always remember. I wish I didn’t have it embedded in my head, but I will,” said Lisa Criscuolo, who lives a few houses down from the scene.
A make-shift memorial was erected outside the family's home on Wednesday afternoon.
Carolyn Parillo, who lives across the street from the home, worried about explaining the situation to her 10-year-old since she said they both saw the now-deceased children playing outside this weekend.
“It’s just devastating,” she said. “I never imagined that it would be this tragedy. It’s just heartbreaking.”
Bosco Miranda, another neighbor, says he'll miss the kids. "The kids were so beautiful,” said Miranda. “I feel bad for the kids. They used to play around. They were always happy kids."
"I'm gonna miss them," Miranda continued. "I wish I could have helped them," he said, as he teared up.
Mayor Joe Maturo said he notified the school district of the deaths and counseling will be available. Police officers too will have resources mental health available because of the tragic nature of the situation, according to Larrabee.