NH AG: Woman found dead in Derry house fire died of gunshot wound; estranged husband faces murder charge

Lynn Marie Viana, 53, was found dead Sunday night.

An autopsy of a woman found dead in a burning home in Derry, New Hampshire, revealed that she died of a gunshot wound to her head, authorities said Tuesday.

Lynn Marie Viana, 53, was found dead after the Derry Fire Department extinguished the fire at 27 Mt. Pleasant Street, the New Hampshire attorney general’s office wrote in a statement Monday.

Gunshots and a house fire were reported just past 10 p.m. on Sunday. Police entered the burning home and found Manoel Viana, 57, unconscious and injured on the kitchen floor. He was brought for treatment for life-threatening burns and head trauma to a Boston hospital.

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Investigators determined that the married couple were estranged, according to a statement Tuesday. They said Mr. Viana invited Ms. Viana into the home during a custody exchange of their adult child.

“Shortly after Ms. Viana entered Mr. Viana’s residence, two noises, consistent with gunshots, were heard from within the residence,” authorities wrote. “Shortly thereafter, the residence was engulfed in fire. The presence of ignitable liquids was detected within the residence and on or around Ms. Viana’s body.”

The investigation is ongoing, but the attorney general will seek a charge of first degree murder against Mr. Viana if he recovers. Investigators did not state if they suspect the fire was intentional or accidental.

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