Fred Alden, Chief of Police
893 Main Street
Ashby, MA 01431
For Immediate Release
Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Victims Identified in Ashby Murder-Suicide
ASHBY – Police Chief Fred Alden and Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan have confirmed that at approximately 1:37 p.m. Friday, August 26, Ashby Police officers responded to a report of a death on Watatic Mountain Road in Ashby. Upon arrival they observed an adult male and female to be deceased.
The individuals have been identified as Rebecca Griffin, 51, of Fitchburg, and John Griffin, 55, the resident of the home on Watatic Mountain Road. The two deceased were previously married but divorced in approximately 1990. Rebecca Griffin would come by her ex husband’s home to help him with errands.
On Friday, the two deceased were discovered on the front lawn of John Griffin’s home. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner both individuals died from multiple sharp-force wounds indicative of the use of a knife. The investigation revealed that John Griffin inflicted sharp-force injuries to Rebecca Griffin outside of the home. Afterwards John Griffin then died from self-inflicted sharp-force wounds.
“This is a senseless and tragic crime,” stated District Attorney Ryan. “Rebecca Griffin would come to her ex husband’s home to assist him with day-to-day errands such as grocery shopping and bringing him to doctor’s appointments and sadly, she lost her life in the interest of helping him.”
“Ashby is a small, quiet town where incidents like these are not common,” Chief Alden said. “This was an isolated situation and at no time was the public ever in danger. Thank you to our residents for their patience and understanding during our investigation.”
Next of kin have been notified and this is an open and active investigation being conducted by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and the Ashby Police Department