BANGOR, Maine — Authorities are looking for a Maine couple — Daniel Porter and Cheyanne Nowak — in connection with a missing Florida firefighter who last was seen in the Bangor area on Feb. 16, Bangor police Lt. Tim Reid said Thursday afternoon.
Jerry Perdomo, 31, of Orange City, Fla., drove a rental car from the Sunshine State to Bangor, where it was found abandoned on Friday morning, Feb. 17, at Walmart off Stillwater Avenue, Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday night.
“It is believed that one or both of these individuals may have had contact with Mr. Perdomo shortly before his disappearance on the evening of Feb. 16,” Reid said.
Perdomo is a firefighter and emergency medical technician for the Seminole County Fire Department and didn’t show up for work as scheduled on Sunday, Florida firefighter and paramedic Shane Rogers said Tuesday night.
Police believe that Porter, 24, and Nowak, 23, are in a four-door tan, 2005 Hyundai Elantra with a temporary Maine license plate, number 729-257.
Police originally were looking for a white 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer that was registered to Nowak, who is from Newburgh.
Nowak has prior drug and theft convictions on her criminal record, according to a background check run by the Bangor Daily News on Thursday using the Maine State Bureau of Identification database.
She was arrested in Bangor on March 13, 2007, and charged with two counts of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and with theft by unauthorized taking. She was convicted and sentenced on April 19, 2007, to pay $1,050 in fines for the three offenses, her criminal record states.
She was born in Connecticut and lived in Brooks before moving to Newburgh, according to the Maine State Bureau of Identification information.
Porter has no criminal record in Maine, his background check showed.
The photo released by police of the couple was taken from Porter’s Facebook page, which lists his residence as Jackson.
“It is possible that Porter and Nowak have traveled out of the state of Maine in the past few days,” Reid said.
Bangor police have asked the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit for assistance, the lieutenant said.
Perdomo is described as a 200-pound Puerto Rican male, 5 feet 11 inches tall with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black zip-up hooded sweatshirt, fatigue shorts and black sneakers.
Perdomo is married and has two children, Rogers said. His wife arrived in Maine on Monday, Edwards said Thursday.
Firefighters from Florida are heading to Maine to assist in any way possible, Seminole County fire Lt. Dave Williams said in a telephone interview Thursday.
“Two of us are going to come up tomorrow,” he said. “We’re just going to see what we can do. More than 20 people have expressed an interest in heading up there.”
Williams said he trained Perdomo when he joined the department back in 2009.
“He’s been the epitome of a firefighter in Seminole County,” the firefighter-paramedic said. “I have a very close bond with him. He’ll do anything at the drop of [a] hat.”
Perdomo, who was visiting friends in Maine, was scheduled to return home to Florida on Thursday night, Feb. 16, and then go back to work three days later, his friend said.
“It’s very uncharacteristic of him to” not contact his family and friends, Williams said. “He thinks the world of his family. He always has a smile on his face and he’d do anything for anyone.”
The visiting firefighters have already scheduled a meeting with area fire crews and plan to hang fliers and do anything that is asked of them.
“We don’t want to do anything to impede” the investigation, Williams said. “We’re coming up there to do foot work. If searchers are needed, … we’ll be ready.”
Those with information about the whereabouts of Perdomo, Porter or Nowak are asked to call the Bangor Police Department at 947-7382.
The department’s anonymous tip line can be reached by pressing ext. 6.
Correction: An early version of this story misspelled the name of one of the people police are pursing. The person is Cheyanne Nowak, not Norwak.