MANCHESTER — As Sue McGuire looked next door at the charred remains of Bob and Constance Dion's belongings unceremoniously strewn in front of the murdered couple's burnt-out home, she was glad she couldn't recognize any of it.
"Because then it would be like seeing the things the way they were in their house," she said as she fought back tears.
The Dions' bodies were found Monday after their 210 Mooresville Road home was rocked by an explosion and destroyed in a fire. They were officially identified on Thursday and their deaths were ruled homicides.
However, authorities provided no additional word on Friday about the circumstances of the Dions' death or why their son, Matthew Dion, whom investigators have called a "person of interest," still hadn't been found as of Friday night. The state Attorney General's Office is leading the investigation, but has refused so far to say when or how the Dions died.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Janice K. Rundles could not be reached Friday night for comment.
McGuire said she and her husband have been next-door neighbors and friends with the Dions for 28 years. She received news of the fire while at work as a teacher at Bakersville Elementary School and was stunned to find out that her close friends were gone.
"It's still surreal," she said. "It's so surreal."
Not helping was the constant presence of spotlights and police and fire investigation trailers, which were still at the Dions' home Friday night as investigators continued poring through the charred property.
"It's been tough," she said. Pointing at the trucks, she said, "And being here and seeing this has been even tougher."
The McGuires and Dions were frequent dinner guests of each other, she said. The couples loved going to Fisher Cats baseball games together and played horseshoes in each others' back yards.
"It'll be tougher come springtime and summer," she said. "We would stand on our little hill here and just talk, as friends do."