Major Crimes

Brother of Homicide Victim Raises Money for Reward 

Ken ZernickeFrom the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO 

On the evening of September 24, 2015, the Caribou Fire Department responded to a house fire on lower Lyndon Street in Caribou. After putting the fire out firefighters discovered the body of the homeowner, 58-year-old Kenneth Zernicke.  Zernicke’s death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, but the case was never solved. 

Zernicke’s home is located near a busy four-way intersection and Maine State Police Detectives have always hoped someone saw something that would help with the investigation.

“It’s a small town. Somebody knows what happened to my brother. I just want them to come forward and do the right thing. I’m hoping this reward will help make that happen” said Zernicke’s brother Joe Bourgoine who described Ken as an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish.

Bourgoine has spent the past six years saving money for a reward that he hopes will provide answers.
The reward being offered is $10,000. 

If anyone has information about the case they are asked to contact Detective Adam Bell at the Houlton Barracks, 207.532.5400
 

Human remains found in Lewiston

At approximately 8:51 am on Tuesday, September 21st, the Maine State Police received a call from an individual reporting the discovery of human remains at the solid waste facility on River Road in Lewiston.  Detectives from both the Lewiston Police Department and Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit – South responded to that location to interview witnesses and secure the scene. 

Officials from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner assisted in the collection of the remains with members of the Maine State Police Evidence Response Team.  A post-mortem examination on the remains is expected to occur in the coming days.  

Detectives and Evidence Technicians are expected to be at the facility on River Road for much of the day investigating the circumstances surrounding this discovery.  Detectives from both the Lewiston Police Department and Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit – South continue interviewing witnesses and other persons of interest at this time.  

The Maine State Police do not believe that there is any threat to the public and will share more information as it becomes available.
 

Arrest Made in Baby Death

From the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO.

On July 22, 2020 the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office responded to 592 North Parish Road in Turner for the report of a two-month infant in medical distress.  Deputies performed CPR and assisted rescue personnel with the child, who was identified as Harper Averill.  The child was brought by ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment.  The infant ultimately died as a result of her injuries.  

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy following the death.  Detectives from the Major Crimes Unit South and the Androscoggin Sheriff’s Department have been working on this case for the last 13 months and collaborated in their investigation with Spurwink services, DHHS, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner and the Maine Attorney General’s Office.  

On Wednesday, September 8, 2021 the Attorney General’s Office presented the case to the Grand Jury sitting at Androscoggin County.  The Grand Jury returned an indictment charging the father, 27 year old Trevor Averill with Depraved Indifference Murder and Manslaughter.  Averill was arrested at his home in Buckfield this afternoon by Detectives from the Maine State Police and Deputies from the Androscoggin Sheriff’s Department.
 

Man killed in Somerville Wednesday identified 

From the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO 

Maine State Police say the man who died in Somerville on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 48-year-old Joel Williams. An autopsy performed Thursday confirmed Williams died as a result of gunshot wounds. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled the death a homicide. Williams was fatally injured during a confrontation at 1041 Rockland Road in Somerville where Williams was staying at the time. Also injured during the altercation was 31-year-old Kyle Hunt of Jefferson. Hunt was treated and released from Maine General in Augusta. 

Maine State Police continue to investigate the circumstances of Williams’ death. Investigators will continue to review the evidence, the autopsy results, and interviews in consultation with the Maine Attorney General’s Office. 
 

Maine State Police investigating the death of man in Somerville

From the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO

The Maine State Police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office are investigating an altercation between two men. The incident happened Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at home in Somerville sometime between 9:30 am and 10:00 am.

The altercation left one man dead. Another man is now at a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The deceased will be taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta where an autopsy is expected to be performed Friday.

No names are being released at this time pending family notification.

The investigation is in its early stages. The Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit and Evidence Response Team will be investigating the crime scene and conducting interviews well into the night trying to piece together exactly what happened this morning.
 

Stockton Springs Woman Charged with Murder

From the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO.

A Stockton Springs woman is charged with murder in the death of her child.
 
On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, Maine State Police Detectives arrested 35-year-old Jessica Williams and charged her in connection with the death of her 3 -year-old son.

Maddox Williams died Sunday, June 20, 2021, after being brought to Waldo General Hospital by his mother and grandmother. The Office of the State Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.  Detectives and evidence technicians have been working since Sunday conducting interviews and investigating the circumstances of the boy’s death.

Wednesday afternoon Williams was arrested by Detectives at her mother’s house in Stockton Springs and taken to the Waldo County Jail. Williams is charged with murder.

Maine State Police is investigating the death of a child in Stockton Springs

From the Desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO

On Sunday, June 20, 2021, at approximately 2:30 pm the Maine State Police’s Major Crimes Unit was notified about the death of a 3-year-old child.

The child was taken by a family member to Waldo Hospital in Belfast Sunday afternoon where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy was performed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Monday, June 21, 2021. The cause of death is not being released at this time. Detectives are investigating and will provide additional information as it becomes available.
 

Maine State Police investigate the death of a child in Temple

From the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO

On Thursday, June 17, 2021 Maine State Police’s Major Crimes Unit was called to assist the Franklin County’s Sheriff’s Office with an accidental shooting that happened at a home on Forest Hill Road in Temple. After conducting interviews and collecting evidence State Police believe the child died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Other family members were in the residence at the time of the shooting.
An autopsy will be performed by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta on Friday.
No other information will be provided at this time

Maine State Police kindly asks that you please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.
 

Maine State Police make arrest in Limington homicides

House on Hardscrabble Road in LimingtonFrom the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO


On Thursday, June 17, 2021, at approximately 5:13 am Limington, Standish, and Hollis Fire Departments responded to a house fire at 259 Hardscrabble Road in Limington. When firefighters made entry into the home they discovered the deceased bodies of an adult male and female. 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office and Maine State Police’s Major Crimes Unit South were called in to investigate the suspicious deaths. Evidence Response Technicians continue to process the scene at this hour.

Shortly after the discovery, Maine State Police located 21 year Matthew Cote who they believe lived in the house. He was driving in Limington when a State Police Trooper spotted his car.

Cote was interviewed and arrested this afternoon. He has been charged with two counts of murder and was taken to the York County Jail.

At this time Maine State Police cannot identify the victims or confirm why their deaths are suspicious until after the autopsy, which will take place Friday at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta.
Hardscrabble Rd continues to be shut down and is expected to be for the next several hours while Major Crimes and the Fire Marshal’s Office investigate the scene.

Cote is expected to make his first court appearance at 2:30pm Friday via Zoom through York County Superior Court.

Maine State Police and Maine Fire Marshall’s Office investigating a fire and two deaths at a home in Limington

House on Harscrabble Road in LimingtonFrom the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO


On Thursday, June 17, 2021 at approximately 5:13am a man was driving down Hardscrabble Rd in Limington when he noticed a fire at a home at 259 Hardscrabble Road.

A retired firefighter, he called 911 and then tried to make entry into the house but he was not able to. The Limington, Standish and Hollis Fire Departments responded and extinguished the fire. When firefighters made entry into the home they discovered the deceased bodies of an adult male and female.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office and Maine State Police’s Major Crimes Unit South were called in to investigate. 

The York County Sheriff’s Office is assisting.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday at the Chief Office of the Medical Examiner.

Hardscrabble Road is shut down and is expected to be for most of the day while investigators and evidence response technicians investigate the scene.
 

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