A mother of two from Maine was reportedly shot and killed by her longtime partner in a murder-suicide. It was the third domestic murder in the same family, said authorities, the Associated Press reported.
The bodies of Jessica Dapolito, 42, and Robert Dapolito, 55, were found in a home on Hovey Road in New Sharon at about 9:40 a.m. on Jan. 25, officials said. Their bodies were discovered when Maine State Police responded to a welfare check. Both individuals had died from gunshot wounds, according to a statement by the Maine State Police. Robert was identified as the suspect in both killings.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiners office ruled the deaths a domestic violence homicide-suicide. According to the police statement, detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding their deaths.
On Jan. 9, 2018, Jessica Dapolito’s parents, Thomas and Michelle Masse of Temple, also died in a murder-suicide, a family member told the Sun Journal.
Thomas, 60, died by suicide after shooting his wife, Michelle, 59, in the head, according to the Maine State Police.
A relative told the Sun Journal that Jessica and Robert Dapolito, who both worked for a social service agency, were not married, but had been together for 23 years. Jessica took Robert's last name, Dapolito, at some point during their time together.
A GoFundMe page organized by LenaMarie Tufano, has raised $1,620 towards their goal of $5,000, to help the couple's children, Patrick and Casey, cover the funeral costs.
"We lost two of the most important people in our lives,” Tufano wrote. ”Patrick and Casey's life were upturned that day. It was a shock to all who knew Jessica and Bob, especially their children," wrote Tufano.
She added: “They left behind a beloved Newfoundland named Athena and a grandson named Liam. They left behind any financial burdens on both Casey and Patrick.”
In 2010, Robert’s brother Patrick Dapolito, shot and killed his wife, Kelly Winslow at their Limington, Maine home. He was convicted in 2012, and is serving a 55-year prison sentence for her death, People reported.
Regina Rooney, the Communication and Education Director for the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence (MCEDV), told ABC News8 that her organization often sees patterns of violence and abuse move through generations within a family.
In 2020, MCEDV took more than 13,000 calls from abuse victims across the state of Maine. That number was a 24% increase from the year prior, Rooney said.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or abuse, you can get help by calling the statewide abuse hotline at 1-866-834-4357. More resources for victims are available at mcedv.org/get-help.