A nursing instructor at a local technical high school and her husband were killed during a home invasion in Turner, Maine, early Friday, and the suspect was arrested in the home, police said.
Troy Varney, 52, was unresponsive and Dulsie Varney, 48, was in medical distress when the first officers arrived; both died later at a hospital, said Katherine England, state police spokesperson.
Patrick Maher, 24, of Turner, was charged with two counts of murder and was held at the Androscoggin County Jail, England said.
Dulsie Varney was a nursing instructor who worked at Lewiston Regional Technical Center and “was the sort of educator that every student should be blessed with at least once in their school careers,” the school’s director, Rob Callahan, wrote in a letter to the school community.
In his letter, Callahan said the matter was still under investigation but said he understood that the assailant was a tenant.
Police had no immediate comment on the the relationship between Maher and the Varneys. It was unclear whether whether Maher had an attorney.
State police and deputies from the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department were called to the Varney home at about 1:30 a.m. Friday. Hours later, the state police mobile crime unit also arrived on the scene.
The investigation was continuing Friday afternoon with evidence collection teams and detectives remaining at the scene.