Police: Brookfield man found dead in apparent suicide near hay barn fire

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BROOKFIELD — Police say a 53-year-old man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound near a fire that broke out in Brookfield on Friday.

Alberta Wallen, 43, of Brookfield, told police that a hay barn near her home was on fire, and she witnessed a white pickup truck driving away from the property on Churchill Road at around 12:59 a.m.

Multiple area fire departments responded to battle the fire, while Vermont State Police responded and attempted to locate the truck seen leaving the scene.

Fire personnel told police that they had seen a truck in a field nearly 1/4 mile from the fire. The truck appeared to match the report from earlier in the morning.

Police located Ray Peck, of Brookfield, deceased outside of the truck.

Following an investigation by State Police Detectives and the Office of the Chief Medical examiner, Peck’s manner and cause of death were determined to have been suicide by gunshot.

Police are still investigating the fire case.

Anyone with information on the fire is being asked to call 802-722-4600.

The death of Peck also remains under investigation and anyone with information is being asked to call Det. Blais with the Vermont State Police at 802-234-9933.