DA: Young girl led police to wounded father, dead mother in Grafton

A woman was found dead in her Grafton home early Wednesday morning after police discovered the woman’s 5-year-old daughter walking on the street alone, in her pajamas, a block away from home.

“Mommy is sleeping, mommy is sick,” the girl told the officers, Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said during a press conference Wednesday evening.

After speaking with the girl, who told police she was walking to her preschool, the officers were able to determine where she lived and arrived at the home at 55 Worcester St.

Early said the officers were unable to immediately get into the home, but after observing a man on the home’s kitchen floor with a knife in his neck, forced their way in.

They found the girl’s mother, 36-year-old Kelly Sugarman, dead on the floor of her bedroom.

They found the man and girl’s father, Michael Sugarman, 42, holding the knife to his neck. He was transported to an area hospital where he continues to be treated, Early said. His condition is not known.

The girl was also transported to an area hospital to be examined. She has since been released and is now in custody of the Department of Children and Families, Early said.

“She’s a bright little girl,” he said.

Early said investigators are waiting to get a cause and manner of death from the medical examiner, but the preliminary investigation indicates the death of Kelly Sugarman was not a random act.

“I do anticipate charges of murder being brought against Mr. Sugarman,” Early said, adding that he could not speak to motive, “at this point.”


Early said it is unclear at this time what the girl may or may not have witnessed. He said there is no indication Michael Sugarman went after his daughter.

“This has been a tough day for all the police involved,” he said of what he called a “heartbreaking situation.”

Early praised the two officers who spoke with her and were able to get the location of her home quickly.

“They did a great job of getting back to that house,” he said.

There were no prior domestic calls to police related to the couple, according to Early. He said the family had not lived in the home long, though they had lived in the Grafton area for about nine years.


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