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Victim: Maria Danforth

Illegal Alien Hangs His Two Children and Then Himself








Perpetrator: Gerardo Roque

Crime Description:

Carol Danforth met Gerardo Roque at the Good News stable in Montgomery, MD where they both worked. Roque had come to Montgomery from Mexico in 2000 in search of work and started working at the farm. He cleaned stalls and did maintenance work. His brothers and sister also worked on Montgomery horse farms, including two brothers who worked with him at Good News.

Ater six months of dating, Danforth said, problems surfaced. "I'm the boss," she recalled him saying. "You have to do what I say." He could be violent, she said; she declined to elaborate. "It's a relationship that just shouldn't have been," she said. However, rocky the relationship, the couple had two children together. In mid March 2007 she ended her relationship with Roque and asked him to move out of the home they shared in Boyd’s MD.

On April 3, 2007 Roque picked up the children from daycare, as he and Danforth agreed that he would. However, he then called Danforth threatening to harm the children. He directed her to a wooded area near where she lived and worked in rural Boyd, MD. She called 911 and rushed to the spot Roque mentioned.

There she found her children, one-year-old Carlos Diego Danforth and two-year-old Maria Socorro Danforth, hanging from trees. Police arrived quickly and attempted to resuscitate the children, but it was too late. Also found dead from hanging was Roque. Police believe he hung the children and then himself because he was "distraught" over the end of his relationship with Danforth.

Though he had been physically abusive to Danforth in the past, he had never hurt the children, she said. ‘‘I thought he would just try to take them to Mexico, which I would have preferred,” she said. ‘‘All I can think of is that he wanted to hurt me in the worst possible way. He knew I’d be the one to find them.”

In addition to Carlos and Maria, Danforth has two other children, a 15-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old-son.

During her interview, Danforth said she will remember her two children for the joy they brought her. Maria Socorro, whom they called Socorro, ‘‘loved to make messes.” Carlos Diego, whom they called Diego, was just learning to walk. ‘‘He was at a really clingy stage. He just wanted me to hold him all the time,” she said while sitting at the family’s kitchen table. And when the family was in the car together, Diego ‘‘liked the radio on, way up, and would bop his head,” Carol Danforth said.

Documentation:

5APR07, Washington Post
Father Killed Children, Self After Breakup, Police Say - Woman Found Bodies on Farm Where She Lives, by Katherine Shaver and Darragh Johnson

5APR07, Examiner, Atlanta, Georgia
Officials ID man in reported double murder-suicide, by Dena Levitz
http://www.examiner.com/a-657692~Officials_ID_man_in_reported_double_murder_suicide.html

18APR07, Maryland Gazette
Grieving mother thankful for support, by Melissa A. Chadwick
http://www.gazette.net/stories/041807/gaitnew220731_32326.shtml

20APR07, Washington Post
Haunted by Images and Questions, by Katherine Shaver
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/19/AR2007041902377.html