NEW MILFORD, Conn. — Eric Meagan, 34, was arraigned Tuesday at Superior Court in Torrington after police found Victoria Palmer, 56, submerged in the Housatonic River at Harrybrook Park.
Eric Meagan, 34, called his mother around 7 a.m. Monday morning and suggested they go for a walk at their usual place, according to the warrant for his arrest. But while walking the trail along the river at New Milford’s Harrybrook Park, Megan pushed his mother, Victoria Palmer, 56, into the water and held her in a headlock for minutes until she stopped moving. That’s according to confessions he later shared with police after he was apprehended on site, evaluated at Danbury Hospital and cleared for incarceration.
“I had to do it to make the demons stop,” Meagan reportedly told police.
Arriving officers performed CPR on Palmer but it was too late. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Meagan told detectives he feels tormented by demons he can’t see that feel like insects all over “touching and hurting him.” He confessed to strangling the family cat to death a week ago and signed up for an NRA pistol course two days ago and reportedly thought about killing his whole family with a gun.
Megan was arraigned Tuesday at Superior Court in Torrington where bail was kept at $2 million and he was ordered not to have any contact with his father and two younger sisters.
Parkgoer Janice Perrone said she still feels safe Tuesday and will continue to walk the trails at Harrybrook Park—understanding it was an isolated incident.
“You feel for particularly that mom, what she must’ve been going through before all of this happened,” Perrone said. “The situation of mental health care right now is not very good, so that’s disturbing but it was an isolated incident.”
Palmer was submerged in the water when an officer pulled her out and performed chest compressions. Police handcuffed Megan on a nearby rock. He had scratches and abrasions on his ear and red marks on the right side of his face. He told police his mother struggled but did not scream.
The family reportedly told police they’ve had some trouble with him being unresponsive recently.
He said it wasn’t his first time going into the water near clearly marked “no swimming” signs.
He also told police he had been frustrated with his mom for pestering him and not understanding him. When asked why he did it, he told police it was because she’s the person he loved the most.
Megan is due back at court in Torrington on July 11.
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