HEBRON – He thought they were gruesome Halloween decorations, left over from October.

It was only after Carroll Daggett walked through the mudroom, past the body lying motionless and facedown on the porch, past the splatters of blood that flecked a nearby window and through the inner door with a spiderweb of cracked glass, that he saw the words spray painted on the kitchen counter and knew something was wrong.

“VOW BREAKER,” the words read.

Daggett looked around. Words were scrawled on other walls as well.

Daggett, 71, had gone to the home of Anita and Daniel Randall on Marshall Pond Road, the sleepy dead-end lane where he has lived for 36 years, after she called him, concerned. The Randalls’ daughter, Claire, had not answered her cellphone. Anita, who had filed for divorce from her minister husband this week, was not home, so could he go check on Claire?

Daggett never found Claire, and after realizing the body on the porch was no dummy, he called state police.

Then he called back Anita Randall.

“I told her, ‘Claire is not answering, and if you could come home, I suggest you come home.’ ”

Police found Claire Randall, 27, dead in the bathroom with multiple gunshot wounds. Her father, Daniel Randall, 56, lay on the porch, dead from an apparently self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head, in what police say was a murder-suicide. The state Medical Examiner on Friday confirmed the gunshot wounds as the cause of death for both Claire Randall and Daniel Randall.

Police said Daniel Randall left Liberty Bay Recovery Center, a substance abuse treatment center on Forest Avenue in Portland, where he had completed a 90-day recovery program for alcohol treatment, at 10 a.m. Thursday morning. He then purchased a shotgun, drove to the house and broke in through the garage door because he did not have a key. He killed his daughter at 2 p.m. and spray painted messages in five rooms of the house before killing himself.

State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said investigators believe Randall purchased the shotgun at a store but did not know where. They are still investigating the circumstances of the purchase.

Randall was estranged from his family and had been served with divorce papers this week, state police said. Claire Randall had recently moved from Rhode Island to stay with her mother and her teenage brother in Maine. Neither her mother nor her brother were home during the shootings.

Daggett said the Randall family had moved into the tidy tan home just this summer, and he didn’t know them well, although he hauled the family’s trash every week and was familiar with their house. The couple came to Maine from Rhode Island so their son, Gabriel, could attend nearby Hebron Academy. Daggett had only met Claire last Tuesday, he said.

Daniel Randall had told Daggett that he was retired military, and a preacher. Police said Randall had been a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force.

To Daggett, an Army veteran himself, his neighbor’s time in the service showed in quiet ways. Daniel Randall seemed to show signs of stress, or maybe post-traumatic stress disorder, Daggett said. He struggled to hold eye contact. He would start sentences and then stop himself.

“He seemed to be a very pleasant person,” Daggett said of his new neighbor. “A sort of take-charge family type person.”

And recently, Daggett said he hadn’t seen Daniel around, and later heard from Anita that he had been in rehab.

Another family member, who identified herself as Molly and said she was Anita Randall’s daughter, declined to comment when reached Friday aftenroon.

“We don’t want to talk to anyone,” she said. “Please respect us in this. It’s very, very hard.”

Daniel Randall previously served as pastor at First Congregational Church in Bristol, Rhode Island. In a letter to the congregation dated December 2014, Randall resigned his position, effective January 2015, after 12 years of service there. In the letter, he said that his daughters Molly and Claire had been confirmed in the church.

“This is why my decision is so challenging at this time, but also is flavored with a hopeful and peaceful feeling,” he wrote in the letter, which does not give a reason for his resignation.

Randall grew up in Sheldon, Iowa, and was married once before to a woman named Greta, according to a history of the First Parish Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Saco, where Randall was pastor between 1993-1994. He was ordained from the Yale University Divinity School. Randall’s first wife died after slipping and hitting her head while she picnicked with Daniel and their two children at Two Lights State Park in 1993 during the Fourth of July weekend, the Associated Press reported at the time.

She was pregnant at the time and the baby died the next day, according to the church history. Randall took a two-month leave of absence but left the church in early 1994. He moved to Arizona, where he met his wife Anita, then returned to the Northeast, taking a position at Lee Congregational Church in Lee, New Hampshire, according to the Saco church.

Randall worked at the Lee church from 1996-2002, according to Reverend Gail Kindberg. She met Randall casually once or twice, but did not know him personally, Kindberg said.

Randall joined the U.S. Air Force reserves as a chaplain in 2002, at the same time he became pastor at the Bristol Congregational Church, according to the church history. He was listed as an Air Force chaplain in a 2011 Palm Sunday service at the church.

Randall helped form the East Bay Food Pantry in Bristol in 2009, said Nicki Ann Tyska, the pantry’s executive director. Anita Randall was the pantry director until the family left Rhode Island in 2014, Tyska said. She only knew the Randalls in a professional capacity, Tyska added.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Anita Randall, her son Gabe and daughter Mollly,” Tyska said

Randall was an affiliated chaplain with Roger Williams University in Bristol from 2009-2012, but was not a full-time employee, said university chaplain Reverend Nancy Hamlin Soukup. She started at Roger Williams in 2011 and only knew Randall professionally, she said.

“I am heartbroken by this news, heartbroken,” Soukup said.

Detectives and evidence technicians worked late into Thursday night to process the scene and returned to the home Friday morning, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Autopsies on the Randalls are scheduled for Friday morning at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta.

Randall did not have a criminal record in Maine, according to state public records.

Staff writers Gillian Graham contributed to this report.

This video features Daniel Randall, who was found dead in a home in Hebron.  Police suspect he killed his adult daughter, then killed himself.


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