HERMON, Maine — Family and friends of Daniel Borders and Lucas “Luke” Tuscano gathered Saturday to remember the two men and share memories and stories.
More than 50 people attended an evening service for Borders at Hermon Baptist Church, where the church’s pastor, the Rev. Garnett Chute, advised the grieving family and friends to look to each other and their memories of Borders for strength.
Members of Borders’ family and longtime friends tearfully relayed memories of a loyal friend and loving father.
Borders’ 7-year-old daughter wrote a letter that was read aloud at the service. The girl said her daddy was the best daddy in the world and that she would never forget him.
“I’m so happy to have you as my angel watching over me at all times. I love you, Daddy,” the girl wrote.
Borders’ brother, James, also wrote a letter, which was read aloud by Chute during the service. In the letter, James mentioned a time when he was struggling with depression, which Daniel helped him through by taking him out to have fun and meet people. That’s how James met his wife.
“It feels like a nightmare that I’ve been trying to wake up from,” James wrote about the loss of his brother. “You were my best friend; we could tell each other anything; we were inseparable.”
During the service, Chute brought up Daniel Borders’ sometimes-troubled past. Chute said Borders struggled with drugs and alcohol, which eventually led to a prison sentence.
“We’re also here today to learn, to learn from these tragic choices and consequences,” Chute said.
While incarcerated, Borders began reading the Bible and began to turn over a new leaf. However, Borders regressed to his old ways after his release, Chute said.
“These very temporary pleasures will only bring bondage, brokenness, pain and death,” Chute told those who attended the service.
The family and friends of Lucas “Luke” Tuscano gathered at the Charleston Town Hall Saturday afternoon to remember the man who was about to become a father and who loved those around him with all his heart.
“Lucas made everybody happy,” his cousin Anita Jones of Connecticut said before the funeral that filled the town hall. “He made everybody smile.”
Tuscano, 28, Borders, 26, and Nicolle Lugdon, 24, of Eddington were found dead inside a white Pontiac with Rhode Island plates set ablaze in the back parking lot of a Bangor business. The funeral for Lugdon is Sunday afternoon.
“This is not just for our family, it’s for the other families too,” a woman standing outside Tuscano’s funeral said, adding she did not know Borders or Lugdon. “We have to grieve for them, too.”
The medical examiner has deemed their deaths a triple homicide, but are not releasing how Tuscano, Lugdon and Borders died. Their killer has yet to be arrested, Bangor police Sgt. Jim Buckley said Saturday afternoon.
Tuscano, Borders and Lugdon were at a small gathering in Bangor on Aug. 13 when an out-of-state man knocked on the door, reportedly looking for Borders. A short time later all three left with the man, who was driving a white Pontiac with Rhode Island plates.
“I don’t know what the hell happened after they left,” the man who hosted the gathering of only five people said last week. He and his family have since moved.
A woman on her way to work about 3:30 a.m. Aug. 13 discovered the white Pontiac with Rhode Island plates engulfed in flames in the back parking lot of Automatic Distributors, located at 22 Target Industrial Circle.
After the flames were extinguished, firefighters found the bodies of Lugdon, Borders and Tuscano, who reportedly were burned beyond recognition.
A person was seen on video surveillance tapes taken from Automatic Distributors walking away from the burning car, police have said.
Whether the person in the video is the same man who picked up the trio of friends is a question that police are trying to answer. Detectives have followed out-of-state leads, Bangor Sgt. Paul Edwards has said.
Maine State Police detectives were at Tuscano’s funeral Saturday and said they plan to attend the funerals of the other two victims as well.
Tuscano loved the outdoors, camping, mud runs, Bud Light and Country Gold Saturday Nights, his obituary states.
“He was a wonderful uncle and was excited to be a dad,” it states. “Luke couldn’t wait for the birth of his special little girl … and was so excited to finally meet her.”
His girlfriend, who is pregnant and due to give birth shortly, said, “He was the love of my life,” the day police released the identities of the homicide victims.
Tuscano’s cousin said she believes “he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” and the family is devastated.
“It’s a very hard situation for all of us,” Jones said.