NEW SHARON — Domestic partners Robert Dapolito, 55, and Jessica Dapolito, 42, died Monday in a murder-suicide at their house on Hovey Road in New Sharon, according to the Maine State Police.

Robert Dapolito shot his longtime companion and then himself, the State Police confirmed Tuesday in a statement released to the news media. The couple were together for 23 years but never married, according to a relative.

A state trooper and a deputy from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office discovered the couple’s bodies after the State Police received a call Monday to check the well-being of a person on Hovey Road, according to State Police spokeswoman Katharine England.

Following postmortem examinations Tuesday morning, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined the incident was a homicide-suicide related to domestic violence.

Technicians and analysts from the Maine State Police Evidence Response Team completed their processing of the crime scene Monday evening, while State Police detectives from the Major Crimes Unit-South continued to investigate the shootings Tuesday.

According to their Facebook pages, Jessica Dapolito was from Biddeford and graduated from Biddeford High School, and Robert Dapolito, who was known as Bob, went to Telstar High School in Bethel and studied at the University of Maine at Farmington.

Jessica Dapolito’s parents — Thomas and Michelle Masse — also died in a murder-suicide, on Jan. 9, 2018, at their house in Temple.

Autopsies on Thomas Masse, 60, and his wife, Michelle, 59, showed each died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to information from Stephen McCausland, former spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Thomas Masse shot his wife and then himself, McCausland said in 2018.

Jessica’s Dapolito’s aunt, Suzanne Bourque of Biddeford, described her niece as a “wonderful, kind, good-hearted person.”

State Police say Robert Dapolito, 55, fatally shot his domestic partner, Jessica Dapolito, 42, and then himself at their house on Hovey Road in New Sharon. Photo submitted via Facebook

Bourque said Jessica changed her last name to Dapolito even though she and Robert never married. The couple sometimes referred to themselves as husband and wife.

Bourque said her niece loved to garden, draw and read books.

“Her favorite thing was to play in the dirt,” Bourque said. “She had a very green thumb.”

Jessica was just “incredibly kind,” Bourque added. “She had a heart of gold. She will be incredibly missed.”

Robert and Jessica Dapolito performed service work together for Spurwink — Behaviorial Health and Education Services in Maine, according to Bourque.

“They impacted a lot of kids’ lives,” she said.

The couple also helped with Spurwink’s resident homes, including managing them until about five years ago.

“They did a lot of good work,” Bourque said. “It takes a special person to do that.”

Robert and Jessica Dapolito were expected to start a medical marijuana growing business in Wilton, but it was unclear Tuesday if that had happened.

They and Rick Collins of Wilton were granted permits in November 2020 for a medical marijuana growing facility at Collins Enterprises at 445 US 2 East, where a portion of the warehouse was being converted for the operation, according to Wilton Town Manager Rhonda Irish.

Collins was to rent two of the grow spaces to Robert and Jessica Dapolito, according to a report in The Franklin Journal.

Donna M. Perry — 207-780-9055

[email protected]

Twitter: @dmperry_Donna

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