SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A Skowhegan woman has been charged with murder in the Christmas Eve stabbing death of a Troy man at her apartment.
Karen McCaul, 45, of Skowhegan, has been hospitalized since the evening of Dec. 24, hours after she called investigators to her 36 High St. apartment, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. Officers from the Skowhegan Police Department found Richard P. Howe’s body in McCaul’s apartment at about 2 p.m. McCausland said police suspect that the 63-year-old Howe died earlier in the day.
An autopsy on Saturday confirmed what investigators already had suspected: that Howe died from one or more stab wounds, according to a press release.
McCausland said detectives are still trying to determine the nature of Howe’s relationship with McCaul and any reason he might have been at her apartment. McCausland said only that McCaul and Howe knew each other.
“There are several aspects of this case that we are still working on,” said McCausland, who declined to say why McCaul is hospitalized or what hospital she is at. Whenever she is released, said McCausland, she will be arrested.
“The details of why she’s hospitalized are not something we’re going to get into publicly,” said McCausland.
The Maine Attorney General’s Office made the decision Monday afternoon to charge McCaul with murder. A court date for McCaul has not been scheduled.
Nancy Howe, of Troy, said her telephone has been ringing since last week with calls from people wondering whether the victim was her husband. Nancy Howe’s husband, Richard Howe, 48, owns Howe’s Auto Body on Detroit Road in Troy but is not the Richard Howe killed last week. Nancy Howe said the victim is a distant cousin of her husband’s.
“It’s hard to have people keep calling to see if my husband’s dead,” said Nancy Howe. “There were two Richard Howes in Troy.”
She said the victim used to work at the SAD 3 bus garage in Unity but left that job several years ago. More recently, he has been a driver for a community bus service.
“All I know is that he was very helpful to other people,” said Nancy Howe. “He’ll be missed by his family.”
She said the victim, who was not married, had two children in their 20s. His son, Brandon Howe, of Indiana, who contacted the Bangor Daily News by e-mail, said he learned of his father’s death on Christmas morning.
McCausland said this case marks Maine’s 25th homicide of 2009.