Victoria Hope, a Redwood Circle woman and her three newborn triplets were found dead in her home Tuesday afternoon, but police believe foul play was not a factor in their deaths.
The woman’s mother arrived home about 1 p.m. and found her daughter and the three infants, all boys, on the floor, police Detective Ben Trabka said.
Police learned about the incident when the woman’s mother called for help, Trabka said. When officers and emergency medical crews arrived at the home, the woman and the babies were already dead, he said.
“We received a medical call and found that a woman had died,” Trabka said. “It appears that she died giving birth to the triplets in the house.”
Autopsy results were not available Tuesday night.
It appeared the triplets were carried full-term, Trabka said, although he added the family was apparently unaware that Hope was pregnant.
The Hopes’ home is on a quiet residential street in a wooded area near Walnut Tree Hill and Ripton roads.
Neighbors were shocked to hear about the deaths.
“She was a wonderful, vibrant, energetic, terrific girl and a great mother,” said neighbor Virginia Mihalko, who said she had known Hope since she was 2 years old.
Hope was the mother of two other children, a 6-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, Mihalko said.
She had been a member of the Shelton High School band before graduating in 2001.
“She played the glockenspiel,” Mihalko said. “She always had a smile on her face. They are wonderful neighbors.”
Jamie Sandin, who knew Hope since their freshman year at Shelton High School, said she was shocked when she heard her best friend of 13 years had died.
“My legs went numb, I got nauseous. I couldn’t understand how it could happen,” she said. “I called my mom; I didn’t know what else to do.”
Sandin, who got to know Hope in drama club, said her death is a devastating loss.
“She was an incredible mother, a loyal friend and she touched everyone’s life in a positive way,” she said. “We always hung out and would have a great time together.”
Hope taught Sandin how to drive a standard car, and the girls would dye Easter eggs together.
“She was always so carefree,” Sandin said. “She always had a positive attitude. She was always laughing; she always had a smile on her face.”
Whenever she had a bad day, she said she knew could turn to Hope.
“She always found a way to make it better,” Sandin said. “She was so generous and so caring. She would give us her shirt off her back in an instant and not think twice about it. She was just a beautiful person.”
As Sandin spoke to the Connecticut Post, she said she was speaking online to about 18 grieving friends.
“Everyone is just devastated,” she said.
Sandin said she had no idea her best friend was pregnant.
“I spoke with her yesterday,” she said. “I never heard her say anything about it.”
She said she just wants to know why she didn’t tell anyone — including her boyfriend, Ricky, the father of her two children, Devin, 6, and Gabby, 2.
“I’m waiting to sign online for someone to say `Gotcha!’ and that it was all fake,” Sandin said with a sigh. “She was an absolutely amazing person. The world will be sad that she is gone.”
Jesse Patrick, who knew Hope at Shelton High School, said she was a proud mom.
“She was a great mother,” she said. “The few times I ran into her recently, she lit up when she talked about her kids. She was very involved.”
She said she would regularly post statuses on Facebook about her children.
A neighbor who didn’t want to be identified said that she also watched Hope grow up and was crushed to learn that she had passed away.
“It is a true tragedy,” the woman said. “She was really a delightful person and deserved to live a long life and see her children grow up and have children.”
Hope would often stop to say hello and chat, the neighbor said. “She was just a friendly, nice person,” she said.
“My heart goes out to her parents,” the woman said. “They have lost not only their daughter, but three new grandchildren.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, death from childbirth is relatively rare, with fewer than 600 American women dying annually while giving birth as of 2006.