MERIDEN — Authorities confirmed Friday that a missing mother of two from Meriden was found dead in Waterbury.
The chief medical examiner determined that human remains discovered at 137 Brookside Road in Waterbury on Wednesday were those of 31-year-old Perrie Mason, said Meriden police spokesman Lt. John Mennone during a press conference Friday. Mason’s cause and manner of death are pending autopsy results, which could take six weeks or more, the medical examiner’s office said.
Mason’s ex-boyfriend Jason Watson, 38, is in custody on charges he assaulted Mason last week. A prosecutor described Watson as the prime suspect in Mason’s disappearance. He is being held on $1 million bond.
Watson faces charges of third-degree assault, second-degree strangulation, first-degree unlawful restraint and disorderly conduct. He has not been charged in Mason’s death.
Mason’s body was discovered at a textile recycling business in Waterbury where, according to statements in court, Watson worked.
Mason’s father DeVictor King Mason said the police announcement confirmed what the family already knew. He said he didn’t know how his daughter met Watson, but he doesn’t think she investigated Watson’s background before moving in with him.
“I advise all women to investigate prior to being involved in online relationships that could change your life,” DeVictor King Mason said. “My daughter now lives securely in my heart. I hope she is a warning to others about trusting too much.”
Mason’s father said she had escaped an abusive relationship in Hawaii and came to Connecticut for fresh start. There is a GoFundMe page titled “Perrie’s Ohana” set up to help with expenses.
Watson’s attorney said in court this week that his client has cooperated with the police investigation and allowed investigators to search the apartment he shared with Mason on West Main Street in Meriden.
Watson has a lengthy criminal record and was also charged Wednesday with a probation violation stemming from a 2010 conviction for sexual assault.
According to the court file, Watson was convicted of second-degree sexual assault and illegal sexual contact on Oct. 5, 2010. The current charge would be his fourth probation violation related to that case.
The warrant states that Watson had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old when he was 28. The teen became pregnant and gave birth to the child, the warrant said. She allegedly told Watson she was 17 years old, the warrant said.
In a separate incident on Nov. 20, 2015, Watson was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, the warrant said. The judge issued a protective order and noted the protected person was his then live-in girlfriend, who was not identified by name. The warrant noted Watson participated in a Family Violence Education program, which included domestic violence counseling.
A candlelight vigil is planned for Saturday at 6 p.m. at 197 East Main St. in Meriden, the eyelash salon business Mason owned.
Reporter Matthew Zabierek contributed to this story.