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Sonya Katarina SPOON





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Custody battle with the father of her eldest child
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: September 7, 2014
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1990
Victims profile: Her children, Ayden Spoon, 1, and Kayla Thompson, 3
Method of murder: Suffocation with plastic bags and duct tape around their heads
Location: Cheverly, Prince George County, Maryland, USA
Status: Sonya Spoon is being held without bond on two counts of first-degree murder

photo gallery


Police: Maryland mother accused of killing kids had been taken for mental evaluation

By Lynh Bui, Hamil R. Harris and Julie Zauzmer - The Washington Times

September 8, 2014

Less than a week before Sonya Spoon was charged with suffocating her two young children, police had escorted her to a hospital for an emergency psychiatric evaluation. She had threatened to kill herself and Kayla, her 3-year-old daughter, authorities said Monday.

On Sunday, Kayla and Spoon’s 1-year-old son, Ayden, were found unconscious with plastic bags and duct tape around their heads in the Cheverly home where Spoon, 24, was staying with her mother, police and family members said.

Police and court documents show that Spoon, who had been engaged in several custody battles over Kayla and Ayden, had struggled with mental health issues in the days leading up to the deaths. On Monday, police said they were not certain how long Spoon’s recent hospital stay was or what she might have been treated for.

On Sunday, authorities received a call about 2:15 from the children’s maternal grandmother, Paivi Spoon, that Kayla and Ayden were not breathing, charging documents say.

“Investigators learned from Paivi Spoon that Sonya . . . woke her up and ultimately told her that she killed her children,” according to court records. “Paivi Spoon then found the children with plastic bags and duct tape around their faces and heads.”

Paivi Spoon removed the bags and tape and tried to administer CPR before rescue crews transported the children to Children’s National Medical Center in the District, where the toddlers were pronounced dead shortly after, according court documents.

Lester Thompson, Kayla’s father, said Spoon was hospitalized for several days before she was released.

But Thompson, 41, said he never had any reason to believe Spoon would harm her children.

“She seemed pretty docile,” Thompson said of Spoon. “Never . . . signs or anything like that. Never.”

Thompson said that he and Spoon broke up soon after Kayla’s birth and that Spoon sought to keep him away from their daughter.

Court records in Calvert County, where Spoon once lived, show a contentious custody battle. A judge had ordered mediation for the couple on several occasions, but the two could never reach an agreement that lasted long. A custody hearing was set for Sept. 23.

Court records also show that Spoon officially had her son’s name changed to Ayden Jonathan Spoon last September because she claimed the child’s father was not involved in the boy’s life. Attempts to reach the boy’s father unsuccessful.

The Prince George’s County police department has taken over the homicide investigation, and Spoon admitted her involvement in the children’s killings, said Maj. Cesar Pacheco, head of the county’s Criminal Investigations Division. Spoon has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and is being held without bond.

“Foul play was readily apparent,” Pacheco said of evidence found at the home.

While Spoon’s psychiatric history and custody issues are being considered, detectives are still trying to find a motive, Pacheco said.

Maryland officials who oversee state social services have launched a routine, internal review into Kayla and Ayden’s deaths.

“As we do with all child fatalities, the Department of Human Resources has initiated an internal review of this case,” said Brian Schleter, a department spokesman. “We are also working closely with local law enforcement on their criminal investigation into this terrible tragedy.”

Thompson said he is heartbroken at the loss of Kayla, who loved to dance, sing and make up songs about princesses, cats and anything else that crossed her mind.

“There’s no law that can penalize her the way that’s appropriate for what she did to those children,” he said. “She does not deserve to speak the name of my daughter or her son out of her mouth.”

Messages from what appears to be Spoon’s Twitter account shows pictures of Spoon with her two children on cabin trips and at a rodeo. In an Aug. 20 tweet, a selfie with her and Kayla appeared on the account with the caption “My love :)”

In an earlier posting she quotes from the musical group Evanescence and talks about how the group “always gets how I feel during the high and the low times.” The tweet is accompanied by lyrics to a song called “Missing.”

“Please, please forgive me

but I won’t be home again

I know what you do to yourself

I breathe deep and cry out.

Isn’t something missing?

Isn’t someone missing me?”

Arelis Hernández and Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.


Mugshot smile of mother, 24, who suffocated her daughter, three, and son, one, with plastic bags during custody battle with father

  • Paramedics were called to Sonya Spoon's Maryland home at 2am on Sunday

  • Kayla Thompson, three and Ayden Spoon, one, were pronounced dead

  • Spoon has not disclosed a motive and is being held without bond

By James Nye for Mail Online and Jill Reilly for Mail Online

September 8, 2014

A 24-year-old mother has confessed to using plastic bags to kill her two young children at her Maryland home, according to police.

Sonya Spoon, 24, is being held without bond on two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Ayden Spoon, one, and Kayla Thompson, three.

A police mugshot released today shows her bizarrely smiling for the camera.

Paramedics were called to her home in Prince George's County to treat two unconscious children at around 2am on Sunday.

The pair were both taken to Children's Hospital in Washington, where they died a few hours later.

Police say the mother waved her Miranda rights today and gave a very detailed statement of what occurred when she suffocated them.

Today there were reports that the mother of two had been taken in for an emergency psychiatric evaluation last week - authorities are still trying to establish a motive.

Both fathers of the children have been notified of their deaths.

According to WTOP, court records show Spoon was involved in a lengthy custody battle with Lester Thompson, the father of her eldest child.

It stated records filed in Calvert County show Spoon demanded a paternity test in February which showed he was the biological father.

Court records also show Spoon refused to sign a custody agreement in May and then was then granted primary custody.

Thompson was ordered to child support and was told he could spend time with his daughter for a handful of days each month.

He wrote on Facebook: 'Going to pick up my daughter today and I am so happy to spend some time with her.'

According to her Twitter profile, Spoon was adopted from Russia and brought to the United States when she was three-years-old.

She posted several photos of her children on the social networking site who she called 'my world.'

Her last post on August 20 was a photo of her with Kayla which she titled 'My love.'

Neighbors in Chesapeake Beach said that Spoon had moved in with her parents recently and they said they have seen young children around the house.

Spoon's parents, Gary and Paivi Spoon were not home at the time.

Neighbors told the Washington Post that the Spoon's were looking to renovate their home and were letting Sonya live their while work continued.

One neighbor who didn't wish to be identified said to CBS Baltimore: 'My two oldest woke me up when they noticed all the flashing lights from the police cars and ambulances that were out here,' one neighbor who didn't wish to be identified said to CBS Baltimore.

'They kind of made a big commotion because they saw one of the children being brought out.'

A neighbor, Angela Pryor told the Washington Post that the killings had made her feel uncomfortable.

'You feel so safe living right across from the police,' she said. 'This seems very strange for this neighborhood.'

Detective Bernard Jones underlined the fact that the murders were an isolated incident and there is 'no need for the community to be afraid.'

'We are all saddened by this tragic event. The loss of two children that were so young tugs at our hearts. As the police investigate this horrible case, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the people of the Cheverly community as they try to reconcile how and why this happened,' said Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, in a statement Sunday.

Spoon will remain in police custody pending trial.


Mother charged with murder in deaths of 2 children in Cheverly, Maryland

By Steve Hendrix, Arelis Hernández and Lynh Bui - The Washington Post

September 7, 2014

Two toddlers died Sunday after being found unconscious in their home in Cheverly and their mother was arrested and charged with murder, the Prince George’s County police said.

Police said Sonya Spoon, 24, was taken into custody at the home on Forest Road after two unconscious children were reported there about 2 a.m.

Spoon was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, police said. They said they were trying to determine a motive in the deaths of the children — Ayden Spoon, who was 1, and Kayla Thompson, who was 3.

In a statement released late Sunday, county police said Spoon said the children had been suffocated.

After authorities found the children, they were taken to a hospital, where they died, county police said.

They said the official cause of the children’s death has not been determined.

According to public records, the house is occupied by Gary Spoon and his wife, Paivi Spoon.

There was no answer at the neat, split-level dwelling, where a sign on a side door reads “Gary L Spoon, Certified Public Accountant.” According to neighbors, the family has lived at the house for at least 20 years and Gary Spoon operates a business out of it. Paivi Spoon, according to an online biography, has had a career in government in her native Finland and the United States.

The couple have two grown children, a son and a daughter, according to the biography. According to public records, the daughter is Sonya Spoon of Chesapeake Beach, Md. Those records gave her age as 26.

Neighbors in Chesapeake Beach said that Sonya Spoon and her children had been living in recent months with her parents in Cheverly.

Neighbors in Cheverly recalled seeing young children around the house recently.

“I’ve seen grandbabies in passing over there,” said Millicent Forbes, who has lived across the street from Gary and Paivi Spoon for two decades. “I think it must’ve been grandchildren.”

She said she saw Paivi Spoon talking to detectives Sunday morning after ambulances had left. Later, the house was quiet and seemingly empty, with traces of black fingerprint dust on the white front door.

Sonya Spoon’s former home in Chesapeake Beach is a small clapboard house with a yard cluttered with boxes and an old mattress just a few yards from the Chesapeake Bay. Neighbors said she and her children were a frequent presence on the street, even after they moved out of the house last spring.

According to two close neighbors, the Spoons were remodeling the house as a rental property. Sonya, as well as her parents, returned frequently to oversee the work, the neighbors said. The two neighbors spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

“The grandparents were very nice people. [Paivi Spoon] was very loving with the kids. She would take them walking up and down the boardwalk,” one neighbor said.

These neighbors thought that the elder Spoons had bought the property for their daughter but that she eventually chose not to live there. The family owns at least one other house in the neighborhood, the neighbors said, which they also used as a rental property.

Gary Spoon had recently told these neighbors that Sonya was living with them at their home in Cheverly.

Paivi Spoon’s career has included stints in the Finnish Prime Minister’s Office, a Nordic governments council and the U.S. Air Force Reserve, according to her online biography. Locally, according to the town of Cheverly Planning Board Web site, she has served as a special assistant in the county executive’s office, has worked at the former county Department of Environmental Resources and has been a board member of the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority and “is a long-term member of the Cheverly Planning Board.”

Laila Riazi, a Cheverly Town Council member, said members weren’t commenting. “We just want to support the family and see what the family needs.”

Neighbors passing the Spoon house in Cheverly, where chimes from nearby churches sounded up and down the quiet, tree-lined street Sunday morning, expressed shock that a homicide could occur in the area.

Angela Pryor, 51, who lives just down the block from the Spoons, said the block is considered particularly quiet because it is adjacent to the small Cheverly town offices.

“You feel so safe living right across from the police,” she said. “This seems very strange for this neighborhood.”

Michelle Boorstein, Martin Weil and Julie Zauzmer contributed to this report.



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