December 19, 2018
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Burning-car deaths ruled triple homicide; police continue to seek man who walked away

BANGOR, Maine — The deaths of three people who were found in a burned-out car earlier this week in Bangor have been ruled a triple homicide, the Maine attorney general’s office said Wednesday.

“The manner is homicide,” said Brenda Kielty, a special assistant in the attorney general’s office. “The cause has not been released and the identities [of the three victims] will be released as soon as they are confirmed.”

The medical examiner is still working to positively confirm the identities of the three people, she said, adding that the names may be released this week but possibly not until next week.

Details about how the three people died are being withheld because they are part of the ongoing investigation, Kielty said.

The attorney general’s office took over the case shortly after the three autopsies were completed Tuesday.

All available Bangor police officers, along with investigators from Maine State Police and other agencies, are working to solve the case, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Wednesday.

“We’re still actively investigating,” he said. “We have every available resource on this case.”

Bangor police are specifically looking for the person visible on video surveillance images walking away from the burning car, the sergeant said.

The white 2001 Pontiac with Rhode Island plates was engulfed in flames when it was discovered by a woman on her way to work about 3:30 a.m. Monday in the back parking lot of Automatic Distributors, located at 22 Target Industrial Circle.

After the flames were extinguished, firefighters found three bodies that were burned beyond recognition. No one was in the driver’s seat, according to photos taken by the Bangor Daily News on Monday.

The person walking away from the burning car appeared in video surveillance images taken from Automatic Distributors at 22 Target Industrial Circle, an employee and Edwards have said.

Police are still interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen the white Pontiac anytime over the weekend, Edwards said.

“We’re getting a lot of calls and we still want people to call” if they have any information about the vehicle or the case, the sergeant said.

The last time Bangor dealt with such a high-profile case was in March 1988, when a Bangor man shot and killed four people, including his brother and his brother’s pregnant girlfriend, for playing music too loud on their stereo, Edwards said.

Earl J. Losier Jr., then 32, unsuccessfully claimed during his weeklong trial that an over-the-counter cough syrup he had consumed caused him to go crazy just before the quadruple slaying. He was convicted of four counts of murder the following year and sentenced to four concurrent life sentences with no chance of parole.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson went to the scene of the car fire on Monday and was in Bangor on Wednesday working on the triple homicide.

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