Man arrested in death of Friendship woman

Posted Nov. 27, 2010, at 9:04 p.m.
Arnold Diana looks toward the gallery during his initial appearance on Monday, November 29, 2010 at Knox County Superior Court. With Diana is his temporary attorney Jeremy Pratt. Diana is charged with murder in connection with the death of Katrina Windred. (Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett)
Arnold Diana looks toward the gallery during his initial appearance on Monday, November 29, 2010 at Knox County Superior Court. With Diana is his temporary attorney Jeremy Pratt. Diana is charged with murder in connection with the death of Katrina Windred. (Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett)

ROCKLAND, Maine — The man who was charged Saturday with the murder of a Friendship woman was expected to make his first appearance in Rockland District Court today, according to Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Arnold Diana, 35, was arrested Saturday at about 7 p.m. after an interview conducted that afternoon at the Rockland police station. McCausland said Diana was the former boyfriend of Katrina Windred, 47, of Friendship, who disappeared after visiting Diana’s apartment on Saturday, Nov. 20. Windred’s body was discovered by a man walking his dog Tuesday, Nov. 23, on Thompson Meadow Road, which is in a rural area on the outskirts of Rockland.

McCausland said Diana and Windred, who had dated in the past, broke up about three months ago and had each moved on to new relationships. They were still regular acquaintances, said McCausland, though he declined to detail their relationship any further.

“It was not unusual for her to visit him,” said McCausland. “They were staying in contact.”

Authorities have not released the cause of Windred’s death, where it happened or how her body ended up beside a dirt road on the outskirts of Rockland. McCausland said more details about the slaying likely would be available in court documents associated with Diana’s court appearance today. McCausland said Diana was arrested after detectives, led by state police Sgt. Richard Fowler, consulted with the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

Windred, a skiing and horse enthusiast who survived three bouts with cancer, according to her obituary, was also the mother of a 9-year-old boy. After an educational career that extended from Rockland to Waitsfield, Vt., she earned a degree in human ecology from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor in 1987. She was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1983 and was involved in numerous cancer support groups since then. She also was an accomplished horse trainer, known for her ability to tame the most difficult steeds, though she had worked in writing and editing recently.

Members of Windred’s family could not be reached for comment Sunday.

According to McCausland, Diana has a criminal history and was on probation at the time of the alleged murder. According to an article on the Village Soup website, Diana was convicted of domestic violence assault in January 2009 as well as a parole violation later that year.

McCausland would not say whether Diana has confessed to the crime or what his alleged motive might have been.

“We’re just not going to get into those details,” he said.

People who live and work near the Thorndike apartments, which are located at 385 and 387 Main St. in Rockland, said the woman’s killing has caused tension in what has been a pleasant place to live and work.

Jonathan Stuart of Rockland, a cook at a restaurant in the Thorndike building, said he had seen both Diana and Windred in recent years while visiting a friend in the building. He said the first sign that something was amiss was when police detectives blocked access to trash receptacles at the rear of the building, which Stuart said they were searching.

“I’ve lived here my whole life, 22 years, and I’ve never heard of anything like this,” said Stuart, who said Diana lived on the building’s third floor. “I always figured everyone’s really cool until something like this happens.”

Eric Gregory of Rockland, who was visiting a friend on the third floor Sunday afternoon, said police detectives have been in and around the building off and on for the past few days. He said Windred was well-known in the area as a devoted mother, churchgoer and volunteer for some local social service agencies.

“She was always trying to help people,” said Gregory. “[Her killing] is just ridiculous.”

Buzzer buttons and mailboxes in the lobby indicate the apartment complex contains dozens of residences. Doors in the front and rear of the building are kept locked.

A woman walking her dog outside the complex Sunday, who declined to be identified, said there are “terrible rumors” circulating through the downtown shops about the cause and manner of Windred’s death. McCausland would not confirm or deny any of them.

A memorial service and celebration of Windred’s life is scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 11 at the First Unitarian Church at 345 Broadway St. in Rockland.

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