February 21, 2020
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Peru man arrested in connection with New Year’s Day murders

John Clarke Russ | BDN
John Clarke Russ | BDN

A Peru man was arrested Thursday night and charged with two counts of murder, according to police.

Mark Penley, 49, is being charged in connection with the deaths of two individuals whose bodies were found in their South Paris apartment on New Year’s Day, according to a news release from Stephen McCausland, spokesman for Maine State Police.

Penley was arrested around 7:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at the Rumford Police Department and was taken to the Oxford County Jail. Penley had gone to the police station to be interviewed by detectives, according to McCausland.

[Two people found dead in South Paris apartment]

Penley is being charged with the deaths of Heather Bickford and Dana Hill, both 31. The couple’s bodies were found by police in Hill’s downtown apartment Tuesday night after Penley allegedly called 911 and reported their deaths, according to police.

Penley is expected to make his first court appearance Friday at the Oxford Courthouse in South Paris. The time of the court appearance has yet to be set.

Additional details about the investigation likely will be released Friday to coincide with Penley’s court appearance, according to McCausland.

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