NEWPORT, Maine — Perley Goodrich Jr., who is wanted for questioning in connection with the shooting death of his father Monday night, had been in a psychiatric hospital the day of the attack, according to Nancy Watson, his sister.
“Right after my brother was released from the hospital he went home and killed my father,” Watson said Thursday during a brief interview with the Bangor Daily News.
Watson said her mother, Sandra Goodrich, 64, took Goodrich Jr., 45, to Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield on Monday because she feared Goodrich Jr. would become violent.
“My mother knew something was wrong with him,” Watson said. “This shouldn’t have happened.”
Terry Vieira, vice president of operations for Sebasticook Valley Hospital, said Goodrich Jr. was at the hospital on Sunday, not Monday.
“[Goodrich Jr.] has not been seen at Sebasticook Valley Hospital since Sunday, Oct. 25 at about 4 p.m., at which time he was transferred by ambulance to another health care facility,” said Vieira in a prepared statement relayed to the Bangor Daily News by a hospital spokeswoman. “Because of federal and state confidentiality laws, we are prohibited from discussing or disclosing any information about his diagnosis or treatment at this facility. We are also prohibited from disclosing the facility to which he was transferred or the reason for the transfer.”
When asked, Watson said she believed her brother had been moved from Sebasticook Valley Hospital to a “mental hospital” in Bangor.
Spokespeople at Acadia Hospital and Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, two Bangor facilities that specialize in mental health treatment, told the Bangor Daily News Thursday that they couldn’t provide any information about whether Goodrich Jr. was or wasn’t a patient at any time.
Another person, Larry Drayall of Camden, who knows the Goodrich family because he was once married to a relative of Sandra Goodrich, said he also heard from family members that Goodrich Jr. had been taken to a psychiatric hospital in Bangor.
“I was quite shocked about all of this,” said Drayall, who blames the mental health system for failing to avert Monday’s tragedy. “I’d heard that Perley had been having outbursts of anger.”
Although it was unclear under what circumstances Goodrich Jr. left medical care, Watson also blamed the mental health system for releasing her brother in such a dangerous condition.
“My mother said she feared for her safety,” Watson said.
“Maybe if more people had taken my mother more seriously, this wouldn’t have happened,” said a visibly distraught Watson as police continued their search Thursday for Goodrich Jr.
Goodrich Jr. has been missing since Monday night’s attack, which occurred at about 11:40 p.m. Police found the 76-year-old Perley Goodrich Sr. dead in the family’s 146 Rutland Road home, and Sandra Goodrich, who also was attacked Monday night, is recovering from severe wounds to her head and face, according to police.
Investigators believe Goodrich Jr., fled in the family’s minivan toting more than one firearm. They found the minivan at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, but have yet to locate the man.
The search intensified Wednesday afternoon when an officer on patrol near the end of Pratt Road said someone crossed the trail ahead of him. Authorities called off the search at about 3 a.m. Thursday without having turned up any sign of Goodrich Jr. or the person seen by the officer. Cruisers and SUVs from various law enforcement agencies continued to maintain stepped up patrols in the northern Newport area throughout the day Thursday
The area that was searched is popular with deer hunters, prompting authorities to appeal to them for help in identifying anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. Maine’s deer season for firearms begins Saturday.
Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Thursday evening that Goodrich Jr. was still at large. Asked what authorities will do next, McCausland declined to discuss strategy.