Records show wire used to strangle Manchester couple five days before fire in home
MANCHESTER — Robert and Constance Dion, the retired Manchester couple found dead in their home in March, were strangled to death with a wire, according to their death certificates.
Filed in Hillsborough County Probate Court, the death certificates also say the couple died March 19, five days before they were discovered by firefighters who doused a fire at the Dion family home at 210 Mooresville Road.
The death certificates contain information that homicide prosecutors have thus far refused to divulge. The description of the 71-year-old Robert’s and 67-year-old Constance’s injury is “strangled by wire ligature.” Death took place in a matter of minutes.
The couple’s 38-year-old adopted son, Matthew Dion, is unaccounted for and wanted in connection with their deaths.
The U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the location of the younger Dion.
“There are a number of possibilities. We’re looking everywhere,” Assistant Attorney General Janice Rundles said. She spoke to the New Hampshire Union Leader last week, before the death certificates were viewed in the Probate Court file.
Rundles said authorities have not located a 2009 white, four-door Nissan Altima that disappeared along with Matthew Dion. The other family car, a 2010 Chevrolet HHR, was found in the neighborhood in the days after the fire, she said.
According to Probate Court filings, the Dions — he was an expert amateur stamp collector and retired postmaster — had few assets at the time of their death.
Between two credit union accounts, Robert had $3,500. His wife had a mutual fund valued at $23,800.
County property records show the couple purchased their house in 1976 for $34,100. Throughout the years, the couple often refinanced their home, most recently in 2011, according to Registry of Deeds filings. Probate Court filings show the couple had an outstanding mortgage of $178,000 .
It’s hard to say if Matthew Dion, who lived with his parents for the last six years, was extorting his parents, said the lawyer handling the estate, James Normand.
He noted that Matthew Dion, his fiancee, their child and the fiancee’s three other children lived at the house at one time, likely causing a lot of expenses.
“They loved their son. He was adopted, their only child,” he said of the Dions.
In Probate Court filings, Normand said the estate has not found a will, although badly damaged papers at the house suggest that Robert and Connie Dion had a 1973 will and altered it in 1989. Normand has told the court he wants the estate to proceed without a will. It’s unclear what that will mean for Matthew Dion.
“(He) is a person of interest per law enforcement and has criminal charges pending against him, and depending on the circumstances with law enforcement officials, his right to inherit may subsequently be nullified,” Normand wrote in a Probate Court filing.
Normand said none of Robert Dion’s stamp collections were found. Robert Dion had taken possession of some collections on consignment, and there may be insurance coverage for the loss of those, Normand said.
The fraud and theft committee of the American Philatelic Society has alerted members to be wary of suspicious sales, he said.
The homeowner insurance company wants the Mooresville Road house demolished for safety reasons.