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Murder-suicide suspected as family of five found shot in Maine

Five family members, including three young children, were found shot to death inside their Saco, Maine, apartment building Sunday, police said.

A lone gun was found near one of the bodies, and authorities said they did not believe anyone outside the family was responsible for the killings. Maine State Police Sergeant Chris Harriman told the Associated Press that a murder-suicide is one of the scenarios investigators are considering.

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State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said the bodies of a mother, father, and their three children, ages 12, 7, and 4, were scattered through three rooms of a second-floor apartment at the Riverview apartment complex downtown.

The bodies were found about 1:25 p.m. by an employee of the apartment complex, who immediately called police. The worker had entered the apartment to check on the family’s well-being after being contacted by a concerned friend of the family, McCausland said. It was believed the killings took place about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police did not immediately release the identities of the family members because they had yet to notify relatives. McCausland said the adult man and woman were in their 30s.

Officials said autopsies would be performed Monday. The investigation was being handled by the Saco Police Department and State Police.

Neighbors told the AP that the father was a maintenance worker at the apartment complex, and they described him as friendly and outgoing.

‘‘I still don’t want to believe it,’’ said a neighbor, Heather Nason. ‘‘I love those children like they were my own.’’

Dan Adams can be reached at dadams@globe.com. Find him on Twitter @DanielAdams86.
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