Massachusetts law enforcement agencies have initiated a search for 33-year-old Aaron Pennington, a Gardner resident, in connection with the death of his wife, Breanne Pennington. This comes following the discovery of Aaron Pennington’s vehicle, a white 2013 BMW 320, in a wooded area near the Ashburnham town line on Monday evening.
The vehicle’s identification was confirmed by the Ashburnham Police Department, and it is believed to be the same vehicle associated with the homicide of Breanne Pennington, aged 30. However, as of now, Aaron Pennington remains unaccounted for.
On Monday evening, around 5 p.m., the discovery of the white BMW in the wooded area prompted a shelter-in-place order in the vicinity of Kelton, Wheeler, Raymond, and Stone streets. This precautionary measure was lifted at approximately 9:50 p.m., following a thorough search conducted by Gardner police and state police, which confirmed no imminent threat to public safety.
In a statement posted on the Gardner City Hall Facebook page, authorities assured the public that, as a precaution, a police presence would be maintained in the area throughout the night and into Tuesday.
The search for Aaron Pennington involved the closure of Camp Collier Road, situated along the western shore of Lake Wampanoag. Law enforcement deployed police helicopters and K-9 units to aid in the search efforts. Late Monday night, the white BMW associated with Aaron Pennington was towed away from the location.
The incident took a grim turn on Sunday when four children from the Pennington family sought help from a neighbor at around 9:14 a.m. According to an application for a criminal complaint filed on Sunday, Aaron Pennington is accused of unlawfully possessing a firearm without a license to carry.
Upon responding to the children’s plea for help, officers discovered Breanne Pennington in an upstairs bedroom with a gunshot wound to her face. Although three shell casings were recovered from the bedroom, no firearms were found within the residence.
The court document also revealed that the couple had been facing ongoing marital issues. Furthermore, Breanne Pennington had plans to relocate to Texas with the couple’s four children. Investigators learned that Aaron Pennington had knowledge of her intentions.
Additionally, the document stated that Aaron Pennington had a history of mental health problems and had made threats of suicide. It was noted that both he and Breanne Pennington did not possess a license to carry firearms.
Surveillance camera footage indicated that Aaron Pennington left his driveway in the white BMW sedan at 8:50 a.m. on Sunday. While the vehicle initially displayed a Massachusetts Veteran license plate, it is believed that Pennington may have switched it to a Texas or California plate, as reported by state police.
Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early has characterized Aaron Pennington as “armed and dangerous.” Neighbors have identified him as an Air Force veteran.
Aaron Pennington is described as a white male, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, weighing approximately 175 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes.
As of Sunday night, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families had taken custody of the couple’s four children.
Anyone with information about Aaron Pennington’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Massachusetts State Police at 508-829-8236 or the Gardner Police Department at 978-632-5600.