Police withholding cause of 3 deaths in Alton

Police are investigating the death of three people that were found Monday evening, Nov. 19, 2012 at this house at 326 Alton Tannery Road in Alton.
Gabor Degre | BDN
Police are investigating the death of three people that were found Monday evening, Nov. 19, 2012 at this house at 326 Alton Tannery Road in Alton.
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 20, 2012, at 2:09 p.m.

ALTON, Maine — Maine State Police on Monday night found the bodies of two men and a woman inside a house in Alton but disclosed few new details Tuesday as they continued to investigate what led up to the deaths.

The names of three people found dead inside the rented house on Alton Tannery Road were released, but state police detectives were not saying how they died or if a weapon was recovered.

“We’re trying to get a handle on what happened,” Lt. Christopher Coleman, commander of the Maine State Police’s Major Crimes Unit for the northern part of the state, said Tuesday morning at a press conference in Bangor. “We’re not, at this point, able to draw any conclusions.”

Scott J. Reed, 43, who rented the house at 326 Alton Tannery Road; his wife of more than five years, Danielle C. Reed, 39; and Daniel Young, 41, of Bradley were found dead inside the cedar-covered house shortly after a female friend stopped by Monday night and found one of the deceased men. She called 911 at about 7:25 p.m.

“The troopers responded and entered the home and found two more people deceased, so we had a total of three — one female and two males,” Coleman said.

The state medical examiner’s office is scheduled to perform the autopsies on Wednesday, the commander said, adding that he didn’t expect the cause and manner of the deaths to be released until Thursday. How long the three were dead before they were discovered is another question only the medical examiner will be able to answer, Coleman said.

“We’re trying to determine relationships to each other and we’re also trying to determine the sequence of events,” he said. “There are a lot of detectives working on this.”

The state police commander, responding to a question about whether law enforcement is looking for a suspect, said simply, “I think we have a handle on who’s involved.”

Nothing that happened at the scene should prompt residents to take greater than normal safety precautions, he said Monday night.

Neighbors provided some information for the investigation, he said, and additional interviews are planned.

Detectives from the Major Crimes Unit gathered evidence from the house on Monday night and continued to do so Tuesday.

An unmarked state police vehicle remained at the end of the approximately 200-yard driveway late Tuesday afternoon, and the entryway still was blocked with a plastic yellow police barrier.

“It was a long night,” one neighbor said just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, asking not to be identified. “There were a lot of officers and canines. The crime lab went up and it has not come out.”

The police arrived without their lights or sirens activated.

“We didn’t even know there was a situation until the dogs alerted us,” the neighbor said. “We’ve been up all night.”

Five hunters from Falmouth, Benton and Wells, who are staying at a camp about five houses up the hill, said they were hunting deer separately in the general area on Monday and all heard gunshots sometime around 1:30 to 2 p.m.

“The only thing we heard, and we were surprised, was about 11 gunshots from a pistol,” said Kerry Neuts of Falmouth, who has been hunting at the camp for about 50 years. “You can tell [a pistol from a rifle] if you’ve hunted long enough.”

“We heard them all in unison,” said Mike Neuts Jr. of Benton, adding to his uncle’s comment.

The gunshots sounded like “pops,” Kerry Neuts said.

“They weren’t very loud,” he said. “It was pop, pop, pop-pop-pop.”

Since state police investigators have not disclosed how the three may have died, the gunshots the hunters heard may have had nothing to do with the three deaths.

“I went to the store this morning and they thought it was domestic violence,” said fellow hunter Bob Thibeault of Wells.

The niece of the man who owns the home where the bodies were found contacted Kerry Neuts at about 11 p.m. Monday, but the hunter was already asleep and did not get the message until he got up around 2 a.m. to use the bathroom. Neuts has known the owner of the home for years.

“She said there had been a homicide at [the homeowner’s] house,” Kerry Neuts said of the niece. “I didn’t know he had rented the place.”

He was so worried his friend had died he “took off and drove down the road” and saw the state police crime lab but none of his friend’s relatives, who live across the street.

“Nobody was up,” so Neuts figured the situation didn’t involve any of his friends, he said.

He went back to the camp and he and the other four hunters left to go look for deer as the sun rose Tuesday. They had just returned to the camp at around 4 p.m. Tuesday and said they planned to contact state police to let them know what they heard.

Scott Reed has some criminal history, including a disorderly conduct conviction, Coleman said. Young was convicted of assault in April 2011, according to court listings printed in the Bangor Daily News.

Scott Reed was involved in a serious car crash almost a year ago and suffered severe injuries, including head trauma, according to some longtime friends.

“He just about died and ever since then, he’s not been the same person. He was just struggling, struggling,” said Sherry Haller, who said she has known Young for more than 20 years, Scott Reed for about 10, and Danielle Reed for several years. “I went to the hospital after Scott’s accident and Dani and I talked a lot.”

Haller said she and Danielle had a chance to talk often when she visited.

“After Scott’s accident last year, I started training him as a favor to him and his wife,” said Louie Morrison, a certified personal trainer and fitness center owner who has been friends with Reed since 1999. “It was serious. I know he was in a coma for a long time.”

Morrison said he noticed Reed’s change after the accident.

“Oh, absolutely. He had a very severe brain injury,” said Morrison, who said Reed became depressed at times. “He started to talk to me a lot about how his poor wife had to deal with him and how he didn’t know why he lived.”

Whether Monday’s incident involved domestic violence is one aspect state police are looking into, Coleman said. There are no active protection orders or bail violations against any of the three, he said.

“We are looking at, very closely, the relationship between the three,” the state police investigator said. “We really need to understand the relationships.”

BDN reporter Andrew Neff contributed to this report.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/11/20/news/penobscot/police-withholding-cause-of-3-deaths-in-alton/ printed on July 30, 2014