Reports say two Alta tots found dead in bathtub; police tight-lipped

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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MILLET, Alta. - Two young children have been found dead, apparently drowned in a bathtub, just weeks after their father told a judge his estranged wife was threatening to take them and move to Australia.
A close family friend said Tuesday that Curtis McConnell found the bodies of his two sons, 10-month-old Connor and three-year-old Jayden, on Monday afternoon in the family home in Millet, a small town south of Edmonton.
The 35-year-old woman, who didn't want her name used, said when he came to her door she returned to the house with him and saw the little boys lying dead on the bathroom floor.
"Horrific," said the woman, who didn't want her name used. "He was screaming, hysterical ... I went over with him, he had already pulled them out of the tub. There was nothing we could do."
Neighbours reported they had seen a man and a woman arguing outside the house a short time before.
Court documents obtained by CTV News show that Curtis McConnell filed for divorce from Allyson McConnell in December.
In an affidavit, Curtis said Allyson had "been threatening me that she wants to move back to Australia with our children. I am fearful that she will attempt to do this without my consent or knowledge.
"I have taken our children's passports for safekeeping."
A statement of defence filed on behalf of Allyson noted she has limited family contacts in Alberta but "a broad network of support in Australia" and would "be entitled to significant government financial support should she return to Australia."
The court documents also indicated Curtis had moved out of the family home and was living in an apartment in Edmonton.
A final decision in the case was not made, but the judge had ruled the children should stay in Alberta while the matter was being sorted out.
After marrying in Australia in 2007, neighbours said the couple had moved into the home in Millet in December 2008 but had recently split up.
Edmonton police say around the time the bodies were found, a woman tried to kill herself by jumping off a bridge onto a busy expressway in the city.
A car that police said has ties to the Millet home was found in the parking lot of a nearby toy store and was taped off by investigators.
Police would not confirm reports that the woman, who survived the fall, is the victims' mother.
The shocking case stunned friends of the couple in the town of 2,000.
By Tuesday afternoon, a pile of stuffed animals and flowers had been placed as a memorial outside the house.
"It's pretty intense and pretty sad," said one man who knew Curtis McConnell. "It's not something that everyone expects."
"I can't imagine how someone could do something (like that)," said Holly Blakely, a family friend. "Little kids don't deserve treatment like that."

Organizations: CTV News show

Geographic location: Australia, MILLET, Edmonton Alberta

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