DA releases new photo of Gardner man wanted in wife’s murder

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GARDNER, Mass — As the search for the Gardner man accused of killing his wife entered its fifth day, police released a new photo of Aaron Pennington taken 11 days before the alleged murder took place.

The Worcester County District Attorney’s Office shared a photo Thursday of Pennington, 33, taken on October 11, 11 days before his wife, 30-year-old Breanne Pennington, was found deceased inside their Cherry Sreet home.

The timestamp on the photo indicates it was taken shortly after 7:00 p.m. Authorities did not state where the photo was taken.

Gardner Police were called to the scene on Sunday around 9 a.m. after the couple’s four children, ages 2, 5, 7, and 9, left the home and went to a neighbor’s house reporting ‘they could not find their father and that their mother was in her bedroom crying,’ according to application for the warrant.

When police arrived, they found Breanne Pennington lying in bed in an upstairs bedroom “with obvious signs of death from an apparent gunshot wound to the head,” according to the paperwork released Wednesday for the warrant.

Breanne Pennington kept a firearm at the residence for her protection, police wrote. However, neither she nor her husband, Aaron, were licensed to carry a firearm in Massachusetts.

During a search of Aaron Pennington’s cell phone on Tuesday, investigators say they discovered a written note from Saturday evening which stated; “Don’t say anything. Be quite (sic). If she wakes up just say you’re getting nasal spray. Get on side of bed, very close proximity to head. Put hole in her head.”

It was determined that Pennington had left his home around 9 a.m. on Sunday in his white 2013 BMW Model 320, which was spotted Monday evening by a hunter, about 1,500 feet down a wooded trail off Kenton Street near Camp Collier in Gardner.

Members of the State Police Special Response Team, the State Police Tactical Operations Response Team, the Violent Fugitives Apprehension Section, state police K9 units, and Gardner and Ashburnham police scoured the vast, 400-acre tract of woods before calling off the active search Wednesday evening.

Through interviews and video surveillance, investigators learned that the couple “had been dealing with marital issues for quite some time,” police wrote.

“Breanne Pennington had plans of moving to Texas with the kids to be away from Aaron Pennington. Aaron Pennington suffered from mental health issues and had threatened suicide,” police wrote.

Pennington is described as a 6′2″ white male with blonde hair and approximately 175 pounds.

Officials say Pennington should be treated as armed and dangerous and members of the public should not approach him.

Anyone with information regarding the investigation is asked to contact State Police Detectives assigned to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office at 508-832-9124 or Gardner Police at 978-632-5600.

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