NORTH WATERBORO — The death of a North Waterboro couple is being investigated as a domestic violence murder-suicide, Maine State Police said Sunday.

The bodies of Christal and Christopher Denis, both 45, were found in their home at 620 New Dam Road just before 8 p.m. Saturday by York County sheriff’s deputies, who had been called to the house by relatives of the couple, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

“Detectives said Denis shot his wife with a shotgun and then turned the gun on himself,” McCausland said in a statement. “The two bodies were found in the living room of the house.”

Detectives, deputies and evidence technicians worked into the early morning hours gathering evidence and conducting interviews.

Autopsies were to be conducted later Sunday at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta.

The neighborhood, part of the Lake Arrowhead subdivision, was quiet on Sunday afternoon.

According to York County Sheriff William L. King Jr., information available on Sunday showed no indication of past domestic violence calls to the household.

The couple owned  a local company, Deer Pond Fuel, together with Christal’s mother, Sherri Hanson, who had started the business with her late husband, Billy Hanson Jr.

Christal Denis, a graduate of  Massabesic High School, worked alongside her family in the business for 20 years, according to the online company history. Christopher Denis was from Fairfield and had previously worked as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company.

According to the 2017 Crime in Maine report produced by the Maine Department of Public Safety, eight of the of 22 homicides in the state that year were committed by family members of the victim. In 2016, there were 19 homicides; seven were committed by family members, according to the Crime in Maine report for that year.

Numbers for 2018 and the year to date were not available Sunday.

Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or at:

[email protected]

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