CANAAN (AP) – Investigators are treating as a homicide the death of a woman whose body was found in a wooded area in this Somerset County town, Maine State Police said Monday.

The body found Friday by game wardens and state police was believed to be that of Cheryl Murdoch, 37, of Waterville, who was reported missing and was the object of a police search, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

The medical examiner has yet to positively identify the remains, but police said they are investigating the death as a homicide.

The investigation also involves a second missing woman, Shirley Atwood, 35, of Canaan. She has not been seen or heard from since sometime last month, police said.

Atwood’s estranged husband, Shannon Atwood, 36, was arrested Sunday after he allegedly kept officers at bay with a bow and arrow when they went to his mobile home in Canaan with a search warrant. He was being held at the Somerset County Jail on $20,000 bail on charges of terrorizing, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and reckless conduct.

Police said the Atwoods are separated, and that Murdoch had been staying with Shannon Atwood before she disappeared.

When state police issued an alert for Murdoch early this month, they said she had been scheduled to travel to Arizona to meet her mother and her 13-year-old daughter. She talked to her mother by telephone on July 27 and that was the last known contact with her, police said.

In a statement issued Monday morning, detectives theorized that Shirley Atwood might be operating a 1988 Chevrolet pickup truck with Maine license plate “7008 KH” or “9034 KE.”

Later in the day, however, police said the truck was found at an undisclosed location and she had not been driving it.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.