Bodies in Springfield identified, two women have ties to CT - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bodies in Springfield identified, two women have ties to CT

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Stewart Weldon lives at the home where three bodies were found (WFSB/Springfield Police) Stewart Weldon lives at the home where three bodies were found (WFSB/Springfield Police)
Ernestie Ryans' body was found at a Springfield home and has ties to CT Ernestie Ryans' body was found at a Springfield home and has ties to CT
Friends confirm America Lyden lived in Connecticut for a short period of time. Friends confirm America Lyden lived in Connecticut for a short period of time.
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WFSB) -

As police continue to investigate a property in Springfield where three bodies were discovered, the man who lives there now faces charges in two kidnapping cases.

Stewart Weldon briefly faced a judge around 10 a.m. on Monday. So far, he's only be charged in connection with the kidnapping cases and not the bodies.

An update on the investigation into the bodies from Springfield investigators happened around 1 p.m.

Investigators said they identified the three females found on the property. Two of the three were reported missing to the Springfield Police Department.

They were identified as:

  • Ernestine Ryans, 47, of Springfield 
  • America Lyden, 34, of Springfield
  • Kayla Escalante, 27, of Ludlow, MA

Lyden was reported missing on December 1, 2017, to the Springfield Police Department. 

Ryans was reported missing to the Springfield Police Department on March 18, 2018.

Two of the women have connections to Connecticut. 

Anthony Ryans, the brother of Ernestine, told Channel 3 that she has ties to Connecticut. Ernestine has been living in Springfield, but she grew up in Bloomfield, attended Bloomfield High School, and had also lived in Hartford. Many of her family members live in Torrington. 

Ernestine's relatives told Channel 3 she had some difficult times and had struggled with addiction, but they never saw this coming. 

"She meant a lot to a lot of people. She was kind, she was caring, she would do anything for you and she was just the type of person that didn't have any enemies. There aren't too many people that could say anything bad about my sister," said Anthony Ryans. 

Ernestine leaves two children, grandchildren and five siblings who called her "Stine." 

Lyden also has ties to Connecticut. Her friend, Stacy Fernandes, said Lyden used to live in Southington many years ago. 

Weldon's attorney said Monday's arraignment was for "another attempted kidnapping," though the details were not released.

His bail was set at $1 million in addition to the $1 million for last week's case.

Thursday, Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni announced Springfield Police recovered the three bodies at 1333 Page Blvd., the property at which Weldon lives.

By Friday, Gulluni said Police were “intensely searching” the property by using ground penetrating radar.

“Needless to say the search has been very thorough, very painstaking and is very much ongoing and it remains active,” Gulluni said. “We have used the ground penetrating radar technology which has given us some preliminary results and will give us more formalized information in a report.

Gulluni said autopsies and tests were being conducted by a medical examiner in Boston.

Weldon was arrested on May 27, by Springfield police following a traffic stop that led to a chase. It ultimately ended with Weldon crashing into a police cruiser.

After police arrested Weldon, a woman who was sitting in the passenger seat during the chase told them she had been held captive by Weldon and was hit with a hammer over several weeks.

Police said Weldon has not been charged in relation to the discovery of the bodies.

However, Weldon pleaded not guilty last Tuesday to charges of kidnapping, sexual assault, and torture for the first case.

Weldon's criminal history began in 1997 in New Jersey when he was arrested for unlawful possession of rifles and shotguns.

He has more than 20 court cases that have appeared on court dockets.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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