BROOKS – A local woman was shot to death Friday night at her home here, and police have charged her husband with murder.

Deborah Littlefield, 49, was dead when emergency crews arrived at the family’s Veterans Highway home at 7 p.m. in response to a 911 call made by a relative, State Police Sgt. Anna Love said Saturday morning.  

After a search, police later that night located Michael Littlefield, 48, who was speaking with a friend inside his truck at a nearby residence on Back Brooks Road. Police recovered a rifle they believe was used in the shooting, the Maine State Police said in a statement.

Littlefield, whom Love said has been cooperative with investigators, is being held at Waldo County Jail. He will be arraigned Monday or Tuesday in Belfast District Court.

“It’s early stages,” Love said outside the couple’s home, the white evidence response team truck parked in the driveway. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of things.”

There is no indication that drugs are involved, she said, adding that police are treating the fatal shooting as a case of domestic violence homicide.

“They had no history (of domestic violence) that we’re aware of,” she said.

Crews from the state police criminal investigation division spent much of Friday night working at the blue-and-white home where the slaying occurred, and they expected to spend much of Saturday there, too, Love said.

Troopers kept the media and others away from the home at 741 Veterans Highway, a well-kept property screened from the busy road by a line of trees. A for-sale sign posted near the driveway said that the single-family house was listed for $199,000 and featured beautiful stone walls.

Photographs on the website of real estate agency Jaret & Cohn show a spacious, immaculate home that the agency describes as “exceptionally nice.”

Outside the house, laundry hung on a clothesline and a newer-looking Wilderness RV trailer was parked in the driveway, close to a sporty black car. A child’s toy truck could be spotted on one of the stone walls on Saturday morning.

According to Love, the couple had grandchildren who visited them occasionally — but police believe that no one else was home when Deborah Littlefield was shot and that there were no witnesses.

A neighbor working on his farm next door to the Littlefield home said that he didn’t know anything about the situation and declined further comment.

Love said the Littlefields have a lot of family in the area, and many people are reluctant to discuss the couple or the slaying.

“They’re in a tough spot,” Love said.

A woman working at J.P. Wentworth’s General Store in Brooks, who declined to give her name, said that the couple had three children and several grandchildren.

“She was my best friend,” the woman said of Deborah Littlefield.

Later, the visibly distressed woman — who had learned of Littlefield’s murder earlier Saturday morning — said that the couple’s marriage had been troubled at times.

According to her, Michael Littlefield worked for a local lumber company, and Deborah Littlefield did not have steady employment.

Deborah Littlefield had grown up in Belfast, and the two friends enjoyed spending time together, the woman said.

“We just used to like traveling around and getting lost,” the woman said.

Outside the store, the news of yet another murder in rural Maine — just two days after two men and a 10-year-old boy were stabbed to death in Amity — provoked shock and worry on the part of several people who were chatting in the parking lot.

“I don’t know what the hell is happening in this state,” said Rob Roberts of Swanville. “I’ve never seen so many murders. It’s ridiculous.”