Monday, May 20, 2013
Tuesday's discovery of a body in a home in northern Penobscot County is connected to Monday's four-hour standoff-turned-suicide on Interstate 95, but detectives are not ready to say what that connection is.
Police found Lawrence Lewis, 68, dead in his home in Molunkus Township, near Medway, only hours after Bruce King, 59, shot himself in the head in a U-Haul truck on the highway.
The relationship between the two men is unknown at this point, but it was Lewis' reported disappearance that led police to stop the moving truck King was riding in.
King, who had been staying in the Medway area for a couple of months, was in the passenger's seat of the U-Haul truck. The truck's driver was a 43-year-old woman from Medway whom police have not identified. Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said police had reason to believe that the King and the woman might have information about Lewis' whereabouts.
However, police never had a chance to question them about Lewis' disappearance, because King pulled out a rifle. Troopers tried to negotiate with King and even shut down the highway in both directions, but King ended the standoff by turning the rifle on himself. The woman escaped from the truck before King pulled the trigger. She was not injured.
Not long after King's death, police discovered Lewis' body inside his home, which is several dozen miles north of the spot where the U-Haul was stopped. It was not clear why police had not looked for Lewis at his home immediately after he was reported missing or whether they had searched the home before that and not found Lewis.
Police continued to look for evidence at Lewis' home Tuesday and searched the U-Haul truck and a motel room where King and his companion were staying.
McCausland said there were more questions than answers Tuesday afternoon
"It's still very early, but this will be a lengthy and complicated investigation," he said.
Lewis' death is considered suspicious, but police are not saying how he died. His body has been taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta for an autopsy.
Lewis, who lived at 450 Macwahoc Road, is a lifetime registrant on Maine's sex offender list. He was convicted in Caribou Superior Court in 1996 for unlawful sexual contact and rape. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison with five years suspended. According to a Bangor Daily News story published in 1996, the victim was 9-year-old boy who lived with Lewis. The crime occurred in 1992. Lewis left prison in 2004.
Lewis also was convicted in 1971 of aggravated assault and served at least two years in state prison. He was convicted of armed robbery in 1974 and served at least five years in state prison. He was convicted of assault in 1988 and sentenced to one year in jail, with all but 30 days suspended.
McCausland said Tuesday that he had no information suggesting Lewis was targeted because he was a sex offender.