DERRY – A woman discovered dead in a home on fire earlier this week was killed not by flames, but by a single gunshot wound to the head, Chief Medical Examiner Jennie Duval discovered during an autopsy Tuesday.
Officials have identified the woman as 53-year-old Lynn Marie Viana, however, “final identification of Ms. Viana is pending,” a new statement from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office reads.
The woman’s death is now being investigated as a homicide.
Investigators say Lynn Marie and her husband, 57-year-old Manoel Viana, were estranged but both at his 27 Mt. Pleasant Street home on April 4 for a custody exchange of their adult child.
Three Derry police officers – Officer Nathan Lavoie, Officer Collin Kennedy, and Officer Nikita Tomnyuk – rushed into the blaze and were able to rescue Manoel, who they first noticed unconscious on the kitchen floor. The officers all received medical treatment and have since been released from the hospital, officials said.
A spokesperson for the AG would not explain what happened to the Vienas child, only that no one besides the three officers and the estranged couple were injured at the scene.
As investigators continue to probe the case, they say there is reason to charge Manoel with first-degree murder.
Two gunshots were reportedly heard from inside the home shortly after Lynn Marie showed up, according to investigators. The house was then reported to be on fire.
Investigators say “ignitable liquids” were detected in the home as well as on/around Lynn Marie’s body.
As of Tuesday evening, Manoel continued to receive medical treatment in Boston. Officials say he has apparent burns and head trauma.