Saco Shooting Victims Identified
State Police have released the identities of a family of five found dead in their home. Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland calls it one of the worst cases of domestic violence in Maine’s history.
State Police say the deaths that occurred late Saturday night were the result of a quadruple murder-suicide. The State Medical Examiner’s office examined the bodies today in Augusta after they were discovered by a maintenance worker at the family’s apartment complex Sunday afternoon.
The victims are identified as 35-year-old Heather Smith, 12-year-old Jason Montez, 7-year-old Noah Montez, and 4-year-old Lily Smith. The mother and children were killed by their husband and father, 33-year-old Joel Smith around 11:30 Saturday night. McCausland says Smith killed his family with a 12 gauge shotgun and then turned the gun on himself.
The two boys were shot to death in their separate bedrooms and the wife and daughter were killed in bed in the parents’ bedroom. Joel Smith then killed himself and fell to the floor next to the bed, the gun falling beside him.
No suicide note was found. Police have also not found any protection from abuse orders or court paperwork on the couple, since they moved to Maine.
McCausland says Heather Smith had told a family friend the night of the shooting that Joel Smith had threatened suicide earlier in the week by pointing a gun at his head. There is no indication that anyone sought any sort of help after that happened.
Several neighbors told police they heard loud noises late Saturday night but no one called police. The family friend became concerned Sunday morning and called a maintenance worker at the apartment complex to check on the family. That’s when the bodies were discovered.
The Smith family moved to Maine from Arizona a couple years ago and Joel Smith worked doing maintenance at the apartment complex where they lived. Heather Smith worked as a medical assistant.
This is the 6th time since 1941 that four people have been killed in a multiple homicide in Maine. The most recent case, where four people were killed, was at a Newry bed and breakfast in September of 2006.