WILTON — Police are investigating what they said was the apparent suicide Monday afternoon of Lawrence E. Dwight Jr., a Republican Party activist and conservative columnist.

Dwight, 54, was found dead in his Orchard Drive home in Wilton about 1 p.m., Wilton police Chief Heidi Wilcox said.

His wife, Adrienne, told police she had been outside on the property before she discovered Dwight dead inside the home, Wilcox said. Investigators believe Dwight shot himself with his .45 caliber handgun.

Wilcox said she requested Maine State Police and two detectives form the Major Crimes division to assist her department with the investigation. She would not say why she called the state law enforcement officials.

Investigators did not find a suicide note and all indications are that Dwight died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Wilcox said. She declined to provide other details because the investigation is ongoing.

Dwight’s body was taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office to determine an official cause, Wilcox said.

The Franklin County District Attorney’s Office last summer dropped a domestic-assault charge against Dwight after he was arrested by Wilton police in July, Wilcox said. She said her department has not had any contact with Dwight since the charges were dropped.

The District Attorney’s Office had stated there was insufficient evidence to pursue the charge.

Dwight had previously served on Gov. Paul Lepage’s Economic Forecasting Commission.

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