DEXTER, Maine — Maine State Police say four bodies have been found inside a Dexter home after members of the department’s tactical team entered the house Monday afternoon.
The bodies were identified those of Steven and Amy Lake and their two children, Coty, 13, and Monica, 12. All four were found in the living room on the first floor of the house at 173 Shore Road, according Maj. Gary Wright of the state police. He said it appeared that Steven Lake, 37, used a shotgun to kill his wife, children and then himself.
Law enforcement officers from several agencies were dispatched to the residence after reports of gunshot fire early Monday morning.
A Dexter police officer, Kevin Wintle, visited the residence to check on the well-being of the family after Amy Lake didn’t show up for work and the children didn’t arrive at school. A neighbor said Amy Lake lived at the house with her two children.
According to an officer on the scene, Wintle heard several gunshots after arriving at the residence. He called for backup and the State Police Tactical Team, state troopers, Piscataquis, Somerset and Penobscot sheriff’s deputies and game wardens as well as Dexter police responded.
Late Monday afternoon, Wright said it was clear to police that Wintle most likely interrupted Lake’s plan to set the house on fire after he killed his family because police found accelerants throughout the house.
Steven Lake, of Wellington, was scheduled July to be tried in July in Piscataquis County Superior Court on four charges stemming from two separate incidents, according the Piscataquis County District Attorney’s Office.
He was charged with Class C criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and Class D domestic violence criminal threatening after he allegedly threatened his wife, Amy Lake, 38, on June 14, 2010, in Wellington. Lake’s bail conditions included no contact with her.
On Nov. 11, 2010, Lake was charged with a Class C violation of bail and Class D violation of a protection order for allegedly having contact with his wife. She appears to have obtained a protection from abuse order, which is in effect for a year, after the June incident.
Shortly after 11 a.m., three or four “pops” that sounded like the firing of tear gas canisters could be heard by witnesses at the scene. A short time later, the state police moved their armored tactical vehicle close to the house.
Just after 11:30 a.m., a state police negotiator using a loudspeaker asked “Steven” to pick up the phone in the house.
“We want to make sure everyone is OK,” the negotiator said. “I want to hear your side of the story. No one is going to hurt you. If anybody’s hurt, we can help you.”
The negotiator repeatedly said: “Please pick up the phone. Tell me what’s going on. A lot of people out here are concerned.”
At about 12:30 p.m. the armored tactical vehicle, with a battering ram attached, could be seen moving up the driveway toward the house. “One more chance to pick up the phone,” the negotiator said over the loudspeaker. “One more chance or we’re coming in.”
Several minutes later a big boom could be heard, followed by what sounded like one gunshot. A short time later, the armored vehicle backed away from the two-story house and officials attached a ladder to the front of the vehicle.
The house, which is in a wooded section of the Shore Road, had been surrounded since 9 a.m. and police reported they had seen movement inside the house.
Police said initial reports came in around 7:15 a.m.
BDN writer Judy Harrison contributed to this report.