Officials release names in Bethel murder-suicide
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner identified the people killed in a murder-suicide in Bethel as Traci Jones and Lester Jones. Both died from gunshot wounds with the medical examiner’s office ruling Traci Jones’ death a homicide and her estranged husband’s a suicide.
“I would have never expected this. Never, never,” Aurora Daley told News 12. Daley was friends with Traci Jones and lives several homes down from her. Daley said she woke Wednesday morning to see the house at 15 Reservoir St. was a crime scene.
“Then I realized I had missed a phone call from two in the morning from one of her coworkers and one of my good friends,” Daley explained.
Bethel police responded to the area around 11:50 p.m. Tuesday night after a call about yelling. Inside the home, they found Traci Jones and Lester Jones with gunshot wounds. Traci Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, while Lester Jones went to the hospital where he later died, according to police.
“She was a very fun human being. She was a wonderful mom. She was a wonderful friend. She was a hairdresser. She knows everybody,” Daley said.
Traci Jones not only worked at the hair salon Brittany Shears, she was also a dietary aid at an assisted living center in town. Bethel's Acting First Selectman Rich Straiton called it “tragic” and told News 12, "It's a hard thing to comprehend happening in our small community."
On Wednesday, the house remained taped off until mid-afternoon. Police towed a car from the home and also searched the ground across the street with a metal detector. One neighbor said he'd never seen police there before.
But Daley told News 12 Traci Jones was having serious relationship problems with Lester Jones and had a restraining order against him. News 12 was unable to confirm the restraining order through online court records. They do show Danbury police arrested Lester Jones on Jan. 24 for sixth-degree larceny stemming from an incident in Oct. 2021.
“This is going to be rough for our community. This is a really tight-knit community,” Daley said. “She was just a good-hearted human being.”