A North Carolina man was arrested Wednesday in connection with a home invasion in Millinocket that left one of the homeowners dead.
A team of Maine State Police troopers, which drove to North Carolina earlier this week, arrested 38-year-old Christopher Murray and will remain there at least through Friday and possibly longer while authorities search for a second suspect, 43-year-old Tony Locklear.
Authorities believe that Murray and Locklear both live in the Maxton, North Carolina, area, which is where Murray was apprehended Wednesday.
Locklear was still at large late Thursday night.
“A team of five State Police detectives arrived in North Carolina Wednesday afternoon and Murray was arrested in a vehicle a short time later with assistance from the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office,” Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said in a Thursday night news release. “Murray is being held as a fugitive from justice.”
McCausland said that Murray and Locklear, once he has been apprehended and extradited to Maine, will each face murder charges in connection with the shooting death of 59-year-old Wayne Lapierre, a well known businessman from Millinocket.
WCSH reported that Lapierre owned and operated a small excavation and snow removal business in Millinocket. Neighbors told the station that the Lapierres were in the process of getting a divorce.
Lapierre and his wife, 33-year-old Diem Lapierre, were in their Massachusetts Avenue home with their two children on the night of Dec. 19 when at least two men broke into their house and shot the couple. They were transported to Millinocket Regional Hospital, which was locked down for the evening as a security precaution.
Eventually the Lapierres were transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where Wayne Lapierre died on the night of Dec. 22.
McCausland said Thursday night in a telephone interview that he was unaware of Diem Lapierre’s current condition, though he previously told the Press Herald that she is recovering from her wounds. Their children have been staying with family members.
McCausland declined to elaborate on why the couple’s home was targeted or how state police knew the suspects were in North Carolina.
“A great deal of investigative work has gone on since the shooting last week and more specifics will be coming out later,” he said.
Christopher Murray, left, and Tony Locklear