Police in Orono found the bodies of a 47-year-old woman and a 5-year-old boy while doing a welfare check Monday evening.
Officers found the bodies inside a home on Bayview Place just before 8 p.m., a news release from Orono police said.
Police aren't looking for any suspects, and are considering it a murder-suicide. Both the woman and boy were found hanged, police said.
The father of the boy had asked police to check in on them earlier that afternoon, because the child hadn't been returned to him for parenting.
Nobody answered, so police returned later that evening at the request of the boy's father, and were let in by a family member, according to the release.
The identities of the woman and child have not been released. Orono police said they could not confirm the nature of the relationship between the woman and boy at this time.
Crimes against children
A U.S. study released last year found there are about 500 arrests annually that involve a parent killing their child – a crime that's called filicide. And about 2.5 percent of all homicide arrests in the U.S. are for parents who killed their children.
Additional studies found that about half of all filicides involve fathers killing their children.
After a parent kills their child, it's not uncommon for them to kill themselves. The Filicide in the U.S. study says about one-third of mothers who killed their children end up killing themselves, while fathers are almost twice as likely than mothers to take their own life after filicide (this is called filicide-suicide).