Slaying victim sought protection from woman she called her spouse

Posted April 22, 2009, at 9:43 p.m.

WALDOBORO, Maine — Less than a month before she was stabbed to death, Rachel Grindal had sought a protection order against a woman she referred to as her spouse.

Grindal, 27, was killed Sunday evening just after she drove in the driveway of Tracey Neild’s mobile home on Controversy Lane in Waldoboro. Neild, 32, who was in the van with Grindal and also stabbed, was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to a Lewiston hospital, according to Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland. A third woman in the van escaped and ran to a neighbor’s house to call for help.

While Neild was reported in critical condition Monday, her family has since requested that the hospital not give out any more information.

“We’re working hard, but there are no new developments,” McCausland said Wednesday.

A judge in Lincoln County District Court in Wiscasset granted Grindal a temporary protection from abuse order on March 23, but a permanent order was dismissed on April 9 after Grindal did not appear for a scheduled hearing.

In Grindal’s request, she sought protection from a woman she wrote had a history of violence. When asked on the form what the plaintiff’s relationship to the defendant was, Grindal had checked the box for “spouse.”

The Bangor Daily News is not naming the woman because the permanent protection order was denied and she has not been charged with any crimes.

Clerks at the district courthouse said that since 2003, Grindal had requested six or seven protection from abuse orders against various people, male and female. None was active at the time of her death.

Neild, however, did have an active protection from abuse order against a man who had lived with her on Controversy Lane. In that order, issued on Sept. 26, 2007, the Waldoboro woman wrote that the man “has headbutted me, choked me, pushed me down, verbally abused me daily and he has broken my dog’s leg. He threatened to kill the dog last Sunday.”

In Grindal’s request, she detailed some recent troubles in her relationship with the woman she referred to as her spouse.

“A few days before New Year’s, [we] were fighting and she pushed me into the fridge, hutch, chairs, bar and around the house,” Grindal wrote. “She would not let me leave the house even after I begged. She physically held me to restrain me from leaving, and blocked the door, at one point shutting my foot in it. In the end, I ran into the bedroom, locked the door, and ran out the back door to my car just in time to lock it. The window was open enough for her to put her fingers in, and she threatened to break it. I finally drove away. There has been many similar incidents to this one.”

Then, in describing the incident that led her to request a protection order, Grindal wrote that the woman had moved out about two weeks earlier, but she had showed up at Grindal’s home in Waldoboro on March 23.

“I woke up to my door being kicked and [she] was yelling outside,” Grindal wrote, adding that the woman claimed to want only to pick up some of her belongings.

Grindal called the Waldoboro Police Department for help, and responding officers told the other woman to take her possessions and leave, according to the court document.

“She refused several times while in front of the officers threatening me and my 4-year-old son,” Grindal wrote. “She stated ‘I’m done,’ and that my son ‘will be affected,’ and that I was going to ‘get what I deserved’ and that I would be sorry.”

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