GRAY, Maine — Police said Wednesday that the person who fatally stabbed an 81-year-old woman during an attack in her Farmington apartment apparently lost a lot of blood himself in struggling with her, and authorities asked again for the public’s help in finding the assailant.
Meanwhile, an autopsy confirmed that Grace Burton died of multiple stab wounds, said Brenda Kielty, spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office.
Burton was able to call 911 shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday to report a man broke into her home at the Margaret Chase Smith Apartments and assaulted her. Burton died later that morning at a Lewiston hospital.
Investigators searched storm drains and ponds in an effort to recover a weapon, but did not find one.
State police Lt. Brian McDonough said the perpetrators of such violent crimes usually display extreme mood swings.
“There’s huge emotions involved in these types of crimes. There’s adrenaline rushes that go on and extreme highs. And there’s got to be a letdown and a low as well, emotionally and physically. And that’s what I’m asking people to look for, is change in behavior of people they’re associating with,” he said.
Maine State Police said the assailant cut through the screen of a rear window to Burton’s first-floor bedroom and got into her apartment through an unlocked window. A struggle ensued and the attacker lost a significant amount of blood, McDonough said outside state police barracks in Gray.
An analysis of the blood confirms the attacker is a male and provided a DNA profile. Police are running the profile through national and state databases in an effort to identify the suspect. McDonough said he is likely from the Farmington area.
Police said they were interested in learning more about the identity of a young man seen walking along the side of the road on the morning of the attack. He’s described as about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with a medium build. He was wearing a black hooded sweat shirt and carrying a backpack at the time.