User Login    
 + Register
TV Banner
News : Slain Family Of 5 Was Murder-Suicide, Police Say
Posted by Randy on 2014/7/29 4:14:39 (620 reads) News by the same author

SACO, Maine (AP) - A maintenance worker with financial problems killed his wife and three children with a shotgun, then committed suicide, over the weekend in what state police called one of the worst cases of domestic violence in Maine history, investigators said Monday.
Click to see original Image in a new window

Joel Smith presented a friendly face at the 61-unit apartment complex where he worked. But he was having domestic and financial problems, and his wife told a family friend that he had recently threatened to kill himself, police said.

The family had moved from Arizona about two years ago because of the sour economy, said Smith's mother, Jerys Caruthers-Thorpe, of Scottsdale, Arizona.

"I know something had to have snapped because Joel never would have done that in his right mind," she said.

Heather Smith, 35, was shot along with the couple's 4-year-old daughter, Lily, in the parents' bed, said Sgt. Christopher Harriman, a state police detective. Joel Smith's body was found on the floor nearby, the shotgun by his side, Harriman said.

The boys, 12-year-old Jason Montez and 7-year-old Noah Montez, were found dead in their separate bedrooms, Harriman said.

No suicide note was found. But investigators said the wife told a family friend Saturday night before the shooting that Joel Smith recently had threatened suicide by holding a gun to his head about a week earlier. The friend later contacted an apartment complex worker to express concerns about the family's well-being, leading to the discovery Sunday, police said.

The case underscores the importance of taking suicide threats seriously, especially in light of a report by the Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel that showed 66 percent of domestic homicide perpetrators had previously exhibited suicidal behavior, said Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.

"Telling your boyfriend or girlfriend, 'I can't live without you,' can quickly cross from the innocuous to the devastating," she said.

Neighbors described the father as well known in the apartment complex along the Saco River because he worked for a company that provided maintenance services. They described him as friendly and outgoing. Few knew about any problems.

"If there was anything going wrong, no one knew it," said Heather Nason, who used to babysit the three children. "Whatever was wrong, they hid it well."

Smith, who was a carpenter and builder, decided to follow his father to Maine in hopes of escaping the tough economy out West, Caruthers-Thorpe said.

Recently, she said, the family had suffered financial problems and her son realized his wife was suffering from an addiction, leading them to consider returning to Arizona.

"They were having problems, serious problems," she said. "They were in the process of trying to get some help."

Many people who knew the family described Smith as friendly, an assessment shared by his mother. "He was very talented, and artistic, and a perfectionist, and a very devoted family man," she said.

The killings of the mother and three children were among the worst in modern history in Maine, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Mass homicides in Maine have claimed four lives six times since 1941 - most recently in 2006 when a cook killed and dismembered four people in western Maine, McCausland said. There have never been more than four homicide victims at the same time in the state, he said.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/9/23 9:54:49 - Results Of Monday Night's City Council Meeting
2014/9/23 9:44:51 - Community Food Pantry Topic Of Open Line
2014/9/23 9:29:08 - Trenton Police Department, Highway Patrol Conduct "Safe To School" Checks At Rissler
2014/9/23 9:22:33 - MU Announces "Hearnes Center Game", TV Assignments, Game Times For Hoops Season
2014/9/23 9:20:25 - Walking Trail, Fund Drive And 5/10K Walk/ Run Topic Of Open Line
2014/9/23 9:02:46 - Week 6 High School Football Poll
2014/9/23 9:00:00 - Trenton Holds On Late For 4-3 Win At Putnam County
2014/9/23 8:59:00 - THS Volleyball Sweeps Brookfield For 4th Win Of 2014
2014/9/23 8:08:30 - Injury Riddled Chiefs Win In Miami
2014/9/23 8:00:00 - Late-Game Touchdown Gives Hoosiers Upset Win At Mizzou
2014/9/23 7:50:00 - Pembroke Hill Thwarts Bulldog Rally, Drops Trenton To 0-5
2014/9/23 7:44:50 - Woman Says Carrollton Police Attacked Her During Traffic Stop
2014/9/23 4:39:02 - Injuries Occur In Three Accidents In North Missouri
2014/9/23 4:17:48 - Man Forbidden From Flying U.S. Flag On His Balcony Because It Could 'Offend Foreign People'
2014/9/23 4:05:24 - 'F**k It, I Quit' Anchor Explains Her Dramatic Exit
2014/9/23 3:56:51 - Rally Seeks More Police Accountability
2014/9/23 3:52:37 - Tension Marks Missouri Education Goals Rewrite
2014/9/23 3:47:45 - 8-Year Old Girl Escapes Captors
2014/9/22 23:00:00 - Trenton Goes 2-1, Falls To Brookfield In Nan Carter Title Tilt
2014/9/22 10:42:49 - Spickard Man Arrested On Multiple Warrants
2014/9/22 10:10:00 - Grundy R-5 Coaches Shows For Monday, 9/22/14
2014/9/22 10:04:53 - Spickard Man Injured In Friday Accident
2014/9/22 10:02:42 - Three Vehicle Accident Injures Two Cameron Residents; One Driver Arrested On Outstanding Warrant
2014/9/22 9:58:59 - Latest Session Of Circuit Court Has Busy Session
2014/9/22 9:56:23 - Altamont Man Injured In Accident; Accused Of DUI
2014/9/22 9:53:53 - Fire Destroys House At Spickard
2014/9/22 9:51:17 - Cowgill Resident Injured In Saturday Accident
2014/9/22 8:48:54 - Ferguson Residents Begin Using Body Cameras
2014/9/22 8:43:25 - Missing Man OK Despite Being Hit By Train
2014/9/22 7:30:00 - Mercer Cardinal Coaches Shows For Monday, 9/22/14



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM