BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine - The deaths of three members of a family were a double murder followed by a suicide, state police said on Monday. The bodies of Svend Jorgensen, 71, wife Carol Jorgensen, 75, and son Eric Jorgensen, 40, were found in Boothbay Harbor, where they lived, on Saturday.
Detectives concluded Svend Jorgensen shot his wife and son and then turned the gun on himself, state police said. Carol Jorgensen's body was found in her bedroom. Svend Jorgensen's body was found in the basement. Eric Jorgensen's body was found in the kitchen of his home elsewhere in Boothbay Harbor.
Svend Jorgensen left a note concerning his financial affairs and real estate, but it gave no explanation for the killings, police said.
The announcement from police followed a state medical examiner's office report saying that all three died of gunshot wounds to their heads. Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland had said earlier that investigators did not believe anyone else was involved. The bodies were discovered after a well-being check at the couple's home.
The deaths shocked the coastal community, which is popular with summer visitors. Friends and neighbors told the Portland Press-Herald that the family was well known in the community. Local jewelry store owner Tony Heyl called the Jorgensens "pillars of the community" and said he was shocked to hear of their deaths. "All of them were really delightful people, very bright, very industrious," Heyl said.
Eric Jorgensen taught social studies at Catherine McAuley High School in Portland. School officials have notified parents of his death and are offering any help to students and their families. Bishop Robert P. Deeley said he and the diocese offer "deepest sympathy to friends and other members of the Jorgensen family who are grieving at this time of tragedy."
Svend Jorgensen, a native of Denmark, retired last year after working as an engineer for nearly 28 years at Bath Iron Works, the newspaper reported. A family friend said Carol Jorgensen had worked at the Portland International Jetport. Their son had recently moved into a home previously owned by his grandmother, Gladys Pratt, who died last year.