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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Police, AG continue to investigate Newbury Street deaths, more information expected Wednesday

NASHUA – Whenever Bill and Eleanor Grant’s neighbors saw Lily come trotting down the street, they knew a big smile, kind word and pleasant chat were right behind her.

With his wife ailing of late, Bill Grant mainly cared for Lily, the couple’s 5-year-old Shih Tzu. It was an assignment he cherished, according to friends and neighbors – especially when it came to their thrice-daily walks. ...

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NASHUA – Whenever Bill and Eleanor Grant’s neighbors saw Lily come trotting down the street, they knew a big smile, kind word and pleasant chat were right behind her.

With his wife ailing of late, Bill Grant mainly cared for Lily, the couple’s 5-year-old Shih Tzu. It was an assignment he cherished, according to friends and neighbors – especially when it came to their thrice-daily walks.

The normally quiet Crown Hill neighborhood in which the Grants lived for close to 40 years reeled in shock and sadness Monday afternoon as news spread that the couple were found dead in their tidy, two-story home at 37 Newbury St. Bill Grant was 83, Eleanor was 78.

Neither Nashua police, nor Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley, who was assigned to the case Monday, would provide further details Tuesday. Hinckley simply said “no updates” when contacted Tuesday afternoon. He said the next official statement on the case would probably be made Wednesday morning.

A home health care worker who was caring for Eleanor Grant reportedly discovered the bodies when she arrived for a scheduled appointment. She called police, who arrived with a fire truck and two ambulances. Neighbors said the truck and ambulances departed shortly after arriving, but the police presence grew steadily throughout the afternoon.

Nashua police Lt. Michael Moushegian declined to comment Tuesday on whether police were searching for any suspects in connection with the deaths, or if there’s any reason for concern that one or more assailants may be at large.

Left with a dearth of information, neighbors exchanged theories and asked each other if they’d learned anything more about what led to the Grants’ deaths.

Moushegian said autopsies scheduled for Tuesday had been conducted, but said he couldn’t comment on the results. The procedure, among other things, typically confirms the cause of death and the manner in which the death was caused.

Gail Duval, a dog groomer whose shop, Doggie Details, is two streets over from the Grants’ home, said the couple was among the most conscientious and responsible dog owners she has met in her many years grooming pets.

“They were such good caretakers of her,” Duval said Tuesday, adding that more than 24 hours later, she was still shocked by the Grants’ deaths. “He brought her in regularly, tended to all her needs,” she said of Lily. Duval said she spoke on the phone with Eleanor Grant but hadn’t seen her lately. “I think she was ill and wasn’t getting out a lot,” she said.

Duval said Grant often walked Lily by the Duvals’ house and, if they were on the porch or sitting outside, he’d stop and chat.

“He was very outgoing, so friendly,” she said. “He’d stop and chat with a lot of neighbors on their walks.”

Lily has been staying with a neighbor since the deaths.

The Grants were longtime parishioners of Infant Jesus Church, a Crown Hill landmark a few blocks from their home. Property records show they bought 37 Newbury St. in 1973. William Grant worked in construction for most of his life, specializing at one time in aluminum siding and working for a company called Carlton Aluminum.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443 or dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com. Also follow Shalhoup on Twitter (@Telegraph_DeanS).