A family of five was found shot to death in their Maine apartment on Sunday. Local law enforcement officers have stated that the husband and wife were in their 30s and the children were ages 4 to 12 years old — two boys and one toddler girl.
Maine Police Sergeant Chris Harriman said the identities of the victims will be released later today once the next of kin have been notified. The family of five lived in Saco, about 10 miles south of Portland. Neighbors reported hearing sounds similar to those made by firecrackers shortly before midnight on Saturday evening. One neighbor told police investigators that she had witnessed the father of the family of five driving away from the apartment early Sunday morning and then returning a short time later.
“All indications are that no one outside of the family was responsible for the deaths. These are not accidental deaths,” Maine Department of Public Safety representative Steve McCausland told the media.
Heather Nason, who used to babysit the children, had this to say after learning about the deaths of the family of five: “I still don’t want to believe it. I love those children like they were my own.”
Saco police officer discovered the bodies after a family friend contacted a staffer at the apartment complex with concerns about the individuals. When the complex worker entered the apartment of the family of five, the first body was immediately discovered and the police were called.
Maine police officers confirmed that dead bodies were found in all three of the bedrooms in the apartment. The law enforcement officers reportedly believe that a long gun was used in the killings. Shell casings were also recovered at the scene of the murders.
Residents interviewed by the news media described the Saco neighborhood as safe. The children in the family of five were reportedly among those in the neighborhood who rode their bicycles and played outdoors safely and without incident. The children usually seen milling about the green areas at the apartment complex were replaced by worried parents and policed officers on Sunday.
“The kids were great. They were just happy kids, and it’s just a huge shock. As for the parents, they’d take the shirts off their back for you,” the former babysitter added as she and her husband joined others in placing flowers on a makeshift memorial outside of the apartment complex.
[Image Via: Derek DAvis/Press Herald]