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Police Identify Victims Recovered From Newport Area Apartment


On Wednesday, Andrea Bender confirmed to the media that her sister, 45-year-old Laura Connell and Laura’s 18-month-old son, were the two people found dead in Newport today.

WILMINGTON (DE): Detectives from the New Castle County Division of Police Criminal Investigation Unit have identified the deceased victims as 18-month-old, Walton Connell and his mother 45-year-old Laura Connell. “Laura Connell’s death has been ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Walton Connell’s cause and manner of death are pending further investigation by the Delaware Division of Forensic Science. However, investigators have determined that Walton’s death was not caused by a gunshot wound.”

According to police spokesman, Michel Eckerd, on Wednesday, “[A]t 8:53 a.m., patrol officers from the New Castle County Division of Police were dispatched to the unit block of Richards Dr in the Stonehurst Garden Apartments for a Death Investigation.  When the patrol officers arrived, they entered the residence and found two people, one a 45-year-old female and one 18-month-old male, deceased.”

“Detectives from the New Castle County Division of Police Criminal Investigations Unit arrived and further determined that there is no perceived threat to the community.”, Eckerd said.

Andrea Bender is the woman who regularly visits her sister, Laura Connell, and didn’t expect to find her dead when she went to visit her this morning. As if that’s not traumatic enough, she also found her sister’s 18-month-old son also dead. After the grim discovery, she said she immediately called 9-1-1 and moments later, the parking lots at the Stonehurst Garden Apartments were overwhelmed by police cars.

Authorities say that the victims were turned over to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science to determine the cause and manner of death.

Bender said her sister had recently lost custody of her son, and this morning Connell was supposed to give her son to his father full time, who lives in Texas.

Police say they are not looking for any suspects.

Anyone with information on this investigation is asked to contact Det. Holubinka at 302-395-8110 or by e-mail at Adam.Holubinka@newcastlede.gov or by calling New Castle County Police non-emergency number at 302-573-2800 or via messenger on Facebook. Citizens can also submit a tip anonymously by text. Send a text to 847411 with NCCDE in the text field and your tip.

DID YOU KNOW… If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of a violent crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the New Castle County Division of Police Victim Services Unit/ is available to offer you support and resources through (302)-395-8000.

Story highlights

  • Two bodies found inside apartment identified.
  • Police say there is no threat to the community.
  • Investigation is still on-going.
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