Two murders, two overdoses in Chester

April 9, 2008 6:02:41 PM PDT
Two of the four people found dead in a home last month were strangled and the other two died from drug overdoses, Delaware County officials said Wednesday. Investigators said they do not believe anyone else was involved in the deaths, which had remained a mystery since the bodies were discovered March 29.

Authorities said Lindsay A. Cassidy, 23, and her son, Kolby O'Brien, 3, were strangled.

Toxicology tests showed that the other two people - Michelle Fynes, 22, and John Michael Bryant, 28 - had high levels of cocaine and PCP in their systems, officials said. The manner of death was ruled to be undetermined because it wasn't clear if they had committed suicide or accidentally overdosed, Delaware County Medical Examiner Frederic Hellman said.

District Attorney Michael Green stopped short of saying that Fynes or Bryant likely strangled Cassidy and her toddler son. However, he did say authorities do not believe anyone else played a role in the deaths.

Additional test results are pending and investigators are still trying to determine the precise sequence of events, Green said. Hellman said there was a ligature mark around Kolby O'Brien's neck. He declined to give more details, other than to say all four people died at some point on March 28, the day before their bodies were found.

The victims were found in the living room and a bedroom when police responded to the home after getting a call from a relative. Initial autopsies were inconclusive and the medical examiner ordered more tests.

Authorities said there was no sign of forced entry and there was no indication the apartment had been ransacked. Police originally suspected that the deaths were due to carbon monoxide, but fire department crews were able to rule that out.

There were no signs of trauma on the victims and no sign of a break-in, police said.