PARIS — The sprawling building complex where a man and woman were found dead Tuesday was the scene of a murder-suicide 20 years ago.

On April 1, 1998, former Deputy Sheriff James Raymond shot his wife and then himself in their basement apartment on Market Square.

Tuesday night, Heather Bickford and Dana Hill were found dead in their Market Square apartment, which is separated by an alley from the location of the Raymond deaths.

Police have not released any information detailing Tuesday’s deaths, including whether they are considered a murder-suicide or a double homicide.

Bickford’s two children were in the apartment and were not harmed.

The murder-suicide in 1998 was the result of domestic violence, and happened while the couple’s two young children were sleeping in another room. The children were both younger than 2 and immediately placed in the custody of their mother’s family.

According to Sun Journal archives, Raymond, 36, called a dispatcher at the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office before dawn and reported he had just shot his 23-year-old wife, Sara.

By the time Paris Detective Sgt. David Verrier arrived at the apartment eight minutes later, Raymond had shot himself in the head and was in grave condition.

He was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and died two days later.

The couple had been married for four years and, according to police, had experienced some strain in their marriage.

In 1998, former Deputy Sheriff James Raymond shot his wife and then himself in their basement apartment on Market Square. (2019 Sun Journal photo by Matthew Daigle)


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