LUDLOW, Maine — A Houlton man who police said was responsible for a crime spree that included burglary, theft and arson over the weekend was found dead by police in Island Falls on Saturday.
According to information provided late Sunday evening by the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department, deputies responded to a suspicious structure fire on the McGlinn Road at around 6 p.m. Friday.
Investigators said an unoccupied seasonal residence was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived and there was a Ford truck abandoned at the mouth of the unplowed driveway. The vehicle was owned by 39-year-old Mark Williams of Houlton and apparently had been abandoned it after it became stuck.
The Houlton Fire Department extinguished the fire.
A short time later, a caretaker of another seasonal residence reported the dwelling had been broken into. He also told police damage had been done during the break-in. The place had been ransacked, but police were not immediately sure if anything had been stolen.
As they were investigating that crime, the sheriff’s department learned a 1989 Dodge truck had been stolen from a third property, which also was on the McGlinn Road.
Several local law enforcement agencies began looking for Williams while the state fire marshal’s office investigated the fire. Investigators, including a state police detective, began collecting physical evidence from the crime scenes and Williams’ truck was towed from where it had become stuck to a secure location until officers could obtain a search warrant.
The sheriff’s department determined that evidence found at all three scenes indicated that the crimes had been committed by one person and Williams was the primary suspect. Investigators also conducted additional interviews and determined that Williams had left the area in the stolen vehicle.
On Saturday, deputies interviewed Williams’ known associates and learned that Williams had access to a camp on Mattawamkeag Lake in Island Falls.
Sheriff’s deputies and state troopers went to the rural camp and found the stolen Dodge truck parked in the driveway.
A single set of footprints led to the structure. Williams’ body was found on the property. The state medical examiner’s office has ruled the death a suicide, according to the sheriff’s department.
The department expressed condolences to Williams’ family and to the victims of the crimes and expressed thanks to the Maine State Police, fire marshal’s office, Houlton Police Department and the U.S. Border Patrol.