GARDNER –Breanne Pennington, 30, was found dead in her Cherry Street home Sunday morning with a gunshot wound to her face. The main suspect in her death – which has now been deemed a homicide by the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office – is her 33-year-old husband, Aaron Pennington, who has yet to be apprehended and whom police say is “armed and dangerous.”
Gardner officials have lifted a shelter-in-place warning around Kelton Street, urging residents to stay vigilant and report any sightings of Aaron.
According to court documents obtained by Boston.com, at about 9:15 a.m. Sunday, a neighbor of the Penningtons called 911 after their frightened children came over to her house, claiming their mother was crying in her bedroom and their father was missing.
First responders arrived at the Penningtons’ home, located at 42 Cherry Street, at about 9:20 a.m. In a bedroom upstairs they found Breanne lying in bed with “obvious signs of death from an apparent gunshot wound to the face.”
BREAKING: Breanne Pennington, 30 years old found dead inside her Gardner home. Court documents reveal she was shot in the face. Now authorities are looking for her husband, Aaron Pennington. #7news pic.twitter.com/VtFvd4x2ls— Kimberly Bookman (@KimberlyBookman) October 23, 2023
Court documents also reveal that the couple had longstanding marital issues. Breanne intended to move to Texas with their four children, ages 2, 5, 7, and 9, leaving Aaron, who battled mental health problems and had previously expressed suicidal thoughts.
Breanne kept a firearm in their home for protection, which Aaron, without a state license, was not authorized to possess. Security camera footage recorded Aaron leaving his residence in a 2013 white BMW 320 around 8:50 a.m. Sunday. Investigators later discovered the car abandoned near Camp Collier, a Boy Scout camp on the Gardner-Ashburnham line, but found no sign of Aaron.
According to court documents, investigators later obtained a search warrant for the home where they didn’t find a gun, but did find three spent shell casings in the bedroom.
The Penningtons’ children are now in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.
Police are still on the hunt for Aaron, who is described as a white male, with blonde hair, blue eyes, standing 6’2″ tall and weighing about 175 pounds.
Authorities urge anyone who sees Aaron to contact State Police at 508-829-8326.