NASHUA, N.H. — Bill and Eleanor Grant had been married for more than 60 years and lived in their tidy Nashua home for the past quarter century – the same home where they were stabbed to death late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
Nashua police and the Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday the couple’s deaths are being investigated as homicides; both died of multiple stab wounds. Police continued to investigate clues to who killed the 83-year-old man and his 78-year-old wife, who was said to be ill recently.
Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley, who is heading the investigation, said authorities were not releasing any further information at this time.
The couple’s daughter, 51-year-old Carol Ann Hilt, told The Associated Press in a quavering voice that she couldn’t talk about her parents, not yet. Her father had been in the construction business and once owned a siding company called Siding by BG.
A home health aide discovered the bodies around midday Monday at their home in the working-class neighborhood, and called police. Some neighbors, upon learning that the couple was killed, said they hoped it was a random act and not someone in their midst.
“It was a real shock,” said next-door neighbor Linda Jones. “There’s no reasoning behind it. I have to imagine it’s random. It’s just the ‘not knowing’ now.”
Her spouse, Jennifer Hanlon, has lived in the apartment they now share for 10 years.
“I never would have imagined it in this neighborhood,” Hanlon said.
William Grant was often seen robustly walking the couple’s Shih Tzu, Lily, and sharing a wave or a smile.
“He was very nice, very sweet, just walking their little dog,” Jones said.
Both women said investigators have been in and out their six-apartment building numerous times since Monday. They said they were up late Sunday night watching a movie until about 2 a.m. Sometime between midnight and 1 a.m. they heard a car crash into rubbish barrels that were at the curb near the Grants’ home. The car sped off.
Wednesday the police presence in the neighborhood was gone. The crime scene tape that surrounded the two-story home the Grants bought in 1985 had been taken down. In the driveway sat the couple’s Mercury Grand Marquis with a vanity plate “Bill&Le.”
Brandon Cook and Michael Jackson arrived in a Peniel Environmental crime scene cleanup van in the afternoon – “Disaster Response Unit” in large letters on its sides and back door. Cook, whose father owns the company, said they were given a heads-up on what to expect when they stepped inside.
“It’s pretty bad,” Cook said.