NORWAY — The man charged with killing a couple at their Market Square apartment New Year’s night told an emergency dispatcher there was “no hope” for them, according to a transcript of the 911 call.

Two days after reporting the deaths to the Oxford County Regional Communications Center in Paris, Mark Penley, 49, of Peru was charged with shooting his ex-girlfriend, Heather Bickford, of Canton and Dana Hill at Hill’s apartment at 24 Market Square.

Bickford’s two daughters, one 8 years old and the other 2 months old, were not hurt.

A transcript of the 911 call by Penley was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Advertiser Democrat. In it, Penley told a dispatcher at the Oxford County Regional Communications Center in Paris he “drove down to South Paris to see my kids.” What he discovered was Bickford and Hill were dead and there was “no hope” for their recovery.

Penley told dispatchers there was “blood everywhere,” and that Bickford had “a gun in her hand.”

“When the officer gets there, can you meet the officer outside, and bring the little one that is alive with you?” the dispatcher asked.


Penley agreed, saying, “I’ll get the kids.”

The dispatcher asked Penley to take the children outside and wait for police.

“Leave everything else, do not touch anything,” the dispatcher said.

Penley can be heard asking the child to put on a jacket and shoes.

According to a police affidavit, Maine State Police Detective Desiree Wuthenow said she found both bodies on the floor and a .22-caliber Ruger SR22 in Bickford’s right hand.

While speaking with Penley outside the apartment that night, Maine State Trooper Marcus Reny said he saw, in plain view, loose cartridges and a box of .22-caliber ammunition inside Penley’s vehicle.


Detective Lawrence Rose also checked Penley’s vehicle Jan. 1. and found a 50-round ammunition box that had eight rounds missing. Rose also found a pair of blue latex gloves on the front passenger floor of the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

An autopsy revealed Bickford was shot five times and Hill three times.

Penley is charged with killing the couple with a Ruger SR22p handgun, according to a Feb. 15 indictment by an Oxford County grand jury.

Penley pleaded not guilty to the charges March 4 and is being held at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

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