ELLSWORTH, Maine — Christopher Saenz, 30, was arrested and charged with murder late Friday night and is being held at the Hancock County Jail, according to Lt. Bill Harwood of the Maine State Police.
Saenz is accused of murdering his wife, Hillary Saenz, 29, on Christmas Day. A medical examiner determined that Saenz died of blunt force trauma, Harwood said.
The Ellsworth Police Department was called to the scene on Wednesday afternoon and they determined that the death was suspicious so they alerted the criminal investigation division of the state police department. State police have been working with Ellsworth police since Wednesday on the case.
The couple have two children, ages 12 and 8. On Christmas afternoon, the children knocked on their neighbor’s door and told her that their mother wasn’t waking up, the neighbor said. The children spent the rest of the day with the neighbors, who wished to remain anonymous for this story, as concerned relatives of the family arrived in town.
“She was a very sweet person, working two jobs,” said the neighbor of Hillary Saenz. “She just got a nursing assistant job. She was so proud of that.”
“It turned Christmas dinner into a wake,” said another neighbor of the afternoon spent with the children and their extended family.
The neighbor whose door the children knocked on said on Friday afternoon that she believes the children are now staying with their uncle.
If Saenz is convicted of murder, it will be Maine’s 24th homicide of the year and 11th domestic violence-related homicide, Harwood said. Saenz is expected in court early next week.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.