Murder warrant issued for Gardner man suspected of killing wife; woodland search ongoing

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GARDNER – A murder warrant was issued for Aaron Pennington Wednesday in the death of his wife, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr. said. The murder charge was filed in Gardner District Court.

The warrant comes four days into the search for Pennington, who is suspected of killing his wife, 30-year-old Breanne Pennington, in their 42 Cherry Street home on Sunday morning. Breanne was found lying in bed with a gunshot wound to the face after the couple’s four young children sought help from a neighbor. Authorities launched a manhunt for Pennington later that day.

Pennington, 33, reportedly left his home around 8:50 a.m. Sunday in a white 2013 BMW Model 320. On Monday afternoon, the vehicle was found by a bowhunter about 1,500 ft. down a wooded trail off Kelton Street near Camp Collier in Gardner.

Aaron Pennington with his wife, Breanne 
(Courtesy Family Photo/DA's Office)
Aaron Pennington with his wife, Breanne
(Courtesy Family Photo/DA’s Office)

Monday evening, state troopers along with Gardner and Ashburnham police scoured the woods off Kelton Street which span approximately 400-acres. The search was conducted under the assumption that Pennington was alive in the woods and armed with a handgun. Despite these search efforts, Pennington remains elusive.

Investigators have asked residents who have trail cameras or any type of surveillance camera to contact police. According to The Gardner News, Gardner Police Chief Eric McAvene said investigators were specifically interested in any footage recorded between the Old County Road area in Ashburnham and Rt. 101.

Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early said that investigators reached out to the military to determine the outdoor survival training Pennington, an Air Force veteran, received during his service.

Court documents obtained by, reveal that Pennington and his wife had longstanding marital issues. Breanne was planning on moving to Texas with their four children, ages 2, 5, 7, and 9, distancing them from Aaron, who battled mental health issues and had previously expressed suicidal thoughts.

For more on what the court records reveal: Gardner man still sought in wife’s death; court documents reveal marital discord

The Pennington children are now under the protection of the state Department of Children and Families.

Aaron Pennington, characterized as “armed and dangerous,” is described as a white male, with blonde hair, blue eyes, standing 6’2″ tall, and weighing approximately 175 pounds. Gardner officials have rescinded a shelter-in-place directive, but residents are urged to stay alert and refrain from approaching him.

Any sightings or information on Aaron’s whereabouts should be immediately reported to the Gardner Police Department at 978-632-5600 or the Massachusetts State Police at 508-829-8326.

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