Thursday June 20, 2013

PEACHAM (AP) -- Vermont State Police believe a New Hampshire man showed up at his ex-wife’s home Wednesday morning, shot her husband and then himself in an apparent murder-suicide.

Authorities said Jeannie Peabody called police to report that a white van pulled up on the lawn in front of her house in Peacham around 7 a.m. Her husband, Mark Peabody, went outside to talk to the occupant, she said.

She heard gunshots and retreated to the basement, heard footsteps upstairs, and then went to a neighbor’s house to call 911, police said. She didn’t see her husband after he left the house, police said.

Police responded with a SWAT team and search helicopter. They said they found Mark Peabody, 50, dead outside his home and John Jackson, 59, of Amherst, N.H., dead inside the residence. Both had been shot.

"Mrs. Peabody was having disagreements with her ex-husband over child-support payments," Lt. Bob Cushing said.

Police had no previous reports of violence involving them, he said.

The state police sent a detective to Amherst to gather information about Jackson, Cushing said. His vehicle had New Jersey plates and had been rented in St. Johnsbury, police said.

Autopsies on the bodies were planned.