DA: Children strangled inside Duxbury home, mother to be charged with murder

DUXBURY − The mother of two children found dead inside a Duxbury home Tuesday night will be charged with murder "as soon as she is able," officials said at a news conference Wednesday.

Lindsay Clancy, 32, will face two counts of murder in the deaths of Cora Clancy, 5, and Dawson Clancy, 3. A third child, a 7-month-old boy, was taken to a Boston hospital with serious injuries.

Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said the infant was still being treated as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Cruz would not elaborate as to his injuries.

"I don't have his exact condition, but we should all be praying for him," Cruz said. "There is certainly evidence of harm to that child."

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Police responded to a call reporting a woman's suicide attempt by jumping out a window at 47 Summer St. just after 6 p.m. Tuesday. Cruz confirmed that Clancy's husband, the father of the three children, made the call.

Cruz said first responders found all three children unconscious with "obvious signs of severe trauma." He would not say where they were found.

Cora and Dawson were pronounced dead at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth. Cruz said the medical examiner's office will be responsible for determining the exact means and causes of their deaths, but that it appears they were strangled.

The third child, who has not been identified, was taken to a Boston hospital.

47 Summer St. in Duxbury on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
47 Summer St. in Duxbury on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.

Their mother, Lindsay Clancy, was treated for her injuries at the scene. Cruz said her condition "is a moving target."

"As soon as she is able, we will be arraigning her on two charges of murder in the deaths of her children," he said. "This matter continues to be active and ongoing, and therefore we are somewhat limited to what we can talk about as we continue to build a criminal case."

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Cruz said "nobody is here to speculate" as to what exactly happened or why Clancy may have killed her own children. Duxbury Police Chief Michael Carbone wouldn't say if police were familiar with the Clancy family or if any prior 911 calls to the home had been made.

"Our hearts and condolences go out to the Clancy family," Cruz said. "I cannot begin to fathom the depths of pain that might be going on."

'The worst we’ve ever seen'

Duxbury Town Manager René Read spoke through his emotions as he said the Duxbury community is "reeling from the tragic events of last night." He said the first responders who found the children inside were immediately relieved of their duties and the town is providing "the follow-up support that is necessary."

"In these seemingly impossible moments, our support for them is absolutely critical," he said.

47 Summer St. in Duxbury on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
47 Summer St. in Duxbury on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.

Cruz asked people to keep the responders in their thoughts.

"Many of them will not forget what they saw last evening," he said.

Read said first responders have told him the scene was one of "the worst we’ve ever seen."

"Tragedies like these are always difficult to comprehend and process," Duxbury Fire Chief Robert Reardon said. "If you are a colleague in need of support, please reach out."

A 'nice young couple'

Ruth Hearson, who lives across the street from the Clancy family, described the parents as a "nice young couple." They moved into the neighborhood five years ago, and Hearson introduced herself the first week with a tray full of brownies, she said.

"They're very busy with their family. Young couple and young family who tend to keep to themselves. They're in and out of the driveway all the time and in nice weather she's out pushing the carriage in the street with the older kids on their bikes in the driveway," Hearson said. "They have a boat, so they're in and out all summer. It's not like neighborhoods were back in the day. People are more private."

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Hearson said she didn't know the couple had a third child until the news of the tragedy broke Tuesday night.

"When I saw all the ambulances, I thought, 'What the heck is going on? There are four ambulances out here,'" she said. "I thought it could be carbon monoxide poisoning. I didn't know there was a new baby, so I thought there were four ambulances for four people."

Police and reporters were on the street all day, Hearson said Wednesday. Several people laid flowers at the foot of the driveway. Hearson said she and the Clancys are all members of Holy Family Church, and the congregation said a prayer Wednesday morning.

Flowers outside the crime scene on Summer Street in Duxbury on Wednesday Jan. 25, 2023.
Flowers outside the crime scene on Summer Street in Duxbury on Wednesday Jan. 25, 2023.

"This is a tragedy," she said.

Clancy is a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was previously a nursing assistant at South Shore Hospital, according to her Facebook page.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn of this unthinkable tragedy," Mass General said in a statement Wednesday. "We extend our deepest sympathies to all those affected by these devastating events.”

Reach Mary Whitfill at mwhitfill@patriotledger.com.

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This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Children strangled in Duxbury home; mother to be charged with murder