Neighbors say they are saddened and perplexed by the death of a 36-year-old mother of three who was found dead inside her Portland home following the sound of gunshots Sunday night.

Sokha Khuon, who was found dead in her house at 46 Dorothy St. in the city’s Riverton neighborhood, was a quiet, family-oriented woman who loved to spend time with relatives and her children, neighbors and friends said.

Portland police officers returned to the home Tuesday to continue an investigation into what they have described only as a suspicious death. Neither the police department nor the state medical examiner’s office would provide any further information Tuesday about the circumstances of Khuon’s death. The home was still marked off by police tape and it was not clear where Khuon’s family is staying.

Sokha Khuon Photo courtesy of WCSH TV

Khuon lived with her husband, Anthony Leng, 40, and their two youngest children, ages 10 and 15, while a third child, age 18, recently moved out on her own, neighbors and family said.

Leng was more gregarious and outgoing, a neighbor said, while Khuon was reserved.

“She was more quiet and kept to herself,” said Kim Grant, 47, who lives across the street from the Leng family. “She was really nice and friendly and sweet. She liked to be with her family. She loved to cook and have gatherings.”

Grant said Khuon met Leng, who is an assistant maintenance technician for the Portland Housing Authority, while they were in high school in the Portland area, and that Khuon has family in California. Khuon was working at DMM in Scarborough, a direct mail and marketing company.

A message for DMM human resources director Christopher Hyfield was not returned Tuesday.

Grant said her children and the Lengs’ children grew up together, and the families became close. They helped each other with their kids, and the families sometimes went camping together.

Leng, an avid fisherman and hunter, took Grant’s son hunting. After Leng bought an 18-foot fishing boat, he would take his children and other kids from the neighborhood on fishing trips.

John Brewer, 67, lives a few doors away from the Leng family and befriended Leng over their mutual interest in fishing, he said. After Leng moved in around 2006, they would chat about Brewer’s boat, and swap advice on repairs and boat maintenance.

Brewer said he took Leng out fishing a couple of times before Leng bought his own boat. Brewer said Leng and his children were always exceptionally polite, and that Brewer hired one of Leng’s kids to look after their house when they went on vacation.

Since Khuon’s death, Brewer said he hasn’t heard from Leng or seen their children.

“We’re heartsick,” said Brewer, 67, a retired physician. “We’re very concerned for Anthony. Where is he? And their poor kids, we hope they’re OK.”

Neighbors interviewed said that Leng was outgoing, warm, and seemed to relish helping others around the neighborhood. Leng helped a widow next door shovel and blow snow from her driveway, and trimmed weeds around her property in the summer after her husband died, Brewer said.

“He seemed to be a great family man, although his wife, I didn’t see her that often,” Brewer said. “He made friends easily. He seemed to know everybody.”

The last time Brewer saw Khuon, she was taking her two youngest children trick-or-treating, and they chatted briefly, he said.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

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Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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