JAY — A local man was charged in the death of his girlfriend Tuesday, after he turned himself in to the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office in Auburn, state police said.

James E. Sweeney, 56, was charged with murder in the death of Wendy Douglass, 51, at her home at 5 Jewell St., Lt. Brian McDonough of the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit said.

Jay police found Douglass’ body in her home Tuesday morning, McDonough said.

Sweeney lived with her, he said.

Just before 8 a.m. Sweeney turned himself in to the Sheriff’s Department, McDonough said.

The lieutenant declined to elaborate on the manner of death.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Sweeney was booked at the Franklin County jail in Farmington and is scheduled to appear in a Farmington court Wednesday, a corrections officer said.

State police and evidence technicians were investigating the scene Tuesday. Neighbors were also being interviewed.

Larry Wright, Jay’s animal control officer, took a dark-colored dog from the residence on a leash and put him in his car.

Douglass was well-known in the area having worked at local businesses. She worked at Food City in Livermore Falls at the time of her death, according to friends at the scene.

Several people hugged and cried as they remembered Douglass. 

“She would give you the shirt off her back,” said Amber Adams, a friend who lived nearby in Livermore Falls. “She was like a second mother to me.”

The two families were friends. 

“I used to baby-sit her kids. She used to baby-sit me,” Adams said. “I got her daughter to eat tuna fish sandwiches. (Douglass) got me to eat moose meat chili.”

Adams’ mother, Maureen Adams, of Jay said Douglass “was a very good cook.”

 Douglass has two grown children, a son who lives out of state and a daughter,  Amber Adams said.

Sweeney is deaf, she said.

Horace Greaton, who lives across the street, said his family was sleeping and did not hear anything during the night or early morning.

“They were very nice people. They would come over to talk and bring us over meals,” Greaton said. 

State police prepare to enter a Jewell Street home Tuesday afternoon to investigate the death of Wendy Douglass, 51. Jay officer Dylan Rider, right, secured the site after the body was found in the morning.

State police prepare to enter a Jewell Street home Tuesday afternoon to investigate the death of Wendy Douglass, 51. Jay officer Dylan Rider, right, secured the site after the body was found in the morning.

Jay Animal Control Officer Larry Wright removes a dog Tuesday afternoon from a house on Jewell Street where police found the body of Wendy Douglass, 51.

State police are investigating the death of Wendy Douglass, 51, whose body was found in this home on Jewell Street in Jay on Tuesday.

Lt. Brian McDonough of the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit, left, and Jay Police Chief Richard Caton IV talk to the media Tuesday afternoon on Jewell Street in Jay. McDonough said James E. Sweeney, 56, of Jay was charged with the murder Tuesday of his significant other, Wendy Douglass, 51, of Jay. Douglass owned the house on Jewell Street where the two lived.

The mobile Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit backs into the driveway of Wendy Douglass’ home at 5 Jewell St. in Jay late Tuesday afternoon. James E. Sweeney, 56, of Jay is charged with the murder of Douglass, his significant other, Lt. Brian McDonough of the Major Crimes Unit said.

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