Man in police standoff died of self-inflicted gun wound

An autopsy showed that the man who provoked a police standoff Saturday and set his house on fire before his body was found died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the state Medical Examiner’s Office said Monday.

The body of Charles Scontras, 58, of 16 Hillview Ave., was found late Saturday after the fire that destroyed the two-story house was extinguished.

The standoff began about 2 p.m. Saturday when Scontras’ estranged wife, Diane, was escorted to the house by a Saco police officer, at her request, to retrieve some belongings. Neighbors said Scontras had ordered his wife to leave the house the week before and boarded it up.

The police officer saw smoke coming from the house and sent Diane Scontras to a neighbor.

Witnesses said Scontras, who had several guns, broke a second-floor window and fired a shot.

The Maine State Police tactical team was called, and more than a dozen troopers surrounded the house. Police had intermittent contact with Scontras by cellphone, but he refused to come out. About 6 p.m., smoke was again seen coming from the house.

By 8 p.m., the house was in ruins. Fire investigators had to wait for the ashes to cool to look for the body.


Air, ground searches seek missing Glenburn girl, 15

Maine law enforcement officials continued the search Monday for a 15-year-old Glenburn girl who was last seen more than a week ago.

A Maine Forest Service helicopter was used to search the Hudson and Old Town area while search dogs were used on the ground.

Maine State Police say more than 350 volunteers helped with a ground search on Sunday. Roadblocks were set up at night near Route 221 in Hudson and Route 43 in West Old Town to seek information from drivers.

Nichole Cable’s mother says she was last seen when she went outside to see someone she had met over the Internet.


Maine student misses finals of National Geography Bee

A student from Bonny Eagle Middle School fell short of the finals in the 25th annual National Geography Bee.

Archer Thomas, 13, of Buxton missed making the competition’s top 10 during Monday’s preliminary round, said Brian Cushing, coordinator of the Maine Geography Bee

The eighth-grader was eliminated when he incorrectly answered a question about Heard Island in the Indian Ocean. He was asked which country governs the island as an external territory. The correct answer is Australia.

Heard Island is one of the most remote places on earth. The island, which has an active volcano, is between the island of Madagascar and Antarctica — about 2,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.

Archer qualified for the national competition by winning the Maine Geography Bee earlier this year. Although he didn’t make it to the top 10, he made a great showing for Maine, Cushing said.

The finals are Wednesday.


Law enforcement launches annual seat belt campaign

Maine State Police and 83 other law enforcement agencies in Maine have begun their annual campaign to crack down on seat belt violators.

The two-week “Buckle Up-No Excuses” campaign began Monday and runs through June 2, coinciding with the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign involving police agencies across the country.

Maine’s Bureau of Highway Safety has distributed $178,000 in federal highway safety funds to assist in the effort by paying officers’ overtime.

Col. Robert Williams, head of the Maine State Police, says victims in half of all highway deaths this year were not buckled up.

A seat belt summons costs $70 for the first offense, $160 for the second and $310 for the third violation.


Girl ‘lucky’ to survive crash, was wearing her seat belt

Police say a 17-year-old Leeds girl is “lucky to be alive” after suffering only minor injuries in a spectacular rollover crash in Wayne.

The girl was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries after the crash about 1:30 p.m. Sunday sent her SUV hurtling end over end.

Sgt. Scott Taylor of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said the girl was “mostly shaken up” and complained of chest and shoulder pain.

Taylor told the Kennebec Journal that the girl, who was driving alone, got distracted and went off the road before her SUV rolled and came to rest on its roof.

She was wearing a seat belt. Her name was not released.


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