March 11, 2010

Couple killed in stabbings, police say

DENNIS HOEY

— By

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20090428_Deaths

Gordon Chibroski

Staff Writer

WESTBROOK — Local and state police say a married couple whose bodies were discovered Tuesday by their daughters died of stab wounds.

Kenneth Taylor, 45, and his wife, Belinda Taylor, 43, were identified Tuesday night by police after an investigation that began Tuesday afternoon.

''Both victims died a violent death involving stab wounds,'' Westbrook's police chief, William Baker, said at a news conference late Tuesday.

Baker said Westbrook police received a call around 2:24 p.m. Tuesday from a neighbor, who saw the Taylors' daughters running from their home at 20 Juniper Lane.

Baker said the girls, ages 12 and 14, returned home from school to find their parents' bodies in the living room of their condominium. ''We were told the two children fled in a state of hysteria,'' he said.

When police arrived at the condominium complex off Route 25, they found the bodies. The couple's children received counseling and have been placed in the care of their grandparents.

Police have ruled out a double murder and said there is no need for the public to be concerned.

However, Baker said no suicide note was found in the condominium, raising the question of whether the Taylors' deaths were the result of a murder-suicide or a domestic violence dispute.

An autopsy by the state Medical Examiner's Office, scheduled for today, may provide more clues about who instigated the stabbings, police said.

In the past, Westbrook police have investigated two separate reports of a domestic dispute at the Taylor home, Baker said. The first complaint was filed on Nov. 5, 1999, and the second on Jan. 23, 2000.

Charges were not filed in either case, Baker said.

The couple, who had been married for 14 years, were in the process of divorcing, said Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland.

''We don't know yet who is responsible for the stabbings. We are hoping the autopsies will tell us that,'' McCausland said.

The condominium complex where the couple lived is known as 20 Juniper Lane. It is managed by a private association of homeowners.

The complex consists of four or five large buildings with several condominiums in each building. The entry road is private, which restricted media access. Residents who were contacted did not want to be interviewed.

State police sent several detectives and their evidence response team to assist Westbrook police with the investigation.

Crime scene tape covered a van and compact car parked outside the apartment where the bodies were found.

Baker said he was not familiar with the Taylors or what they did for work. They have a third child, a 22-year-old daughter, who lives in another part of the state.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com

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