BANGOR, Maine — Family and friends of the victims of a triple homicide in Bangor attended services over the weekend to share memories and tears while trying to make sense out of what happened.
Nicolle Ashley Lugdon, 24, of Eddington; Daniel Thomas Borders, 26, of Hermon; and Lucas Alan Tuscano, 28, of Bradford were found dead Aug. 13 inside a white Pontiac with Rhode Island plates set ablaze in the back parking lot of a Bangor business.
No arrest had been made in connection with the slayings as of Sunday evening, police said.
At a Saturday evening service for Borders at Hermon Baptist Church, 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 Chute read aloud 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 didn’t shy away from 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.
At a service held for Nicolle Lugdon at Bangor Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon, some attendees wore T-shirts with a picture of Lugdon on the front and on the back the words “A thousand words will not bring you back, I know because I’ve tried. Neither will a thousand tears, I know because I’ve cried.”
“She’s an amazing person. She won’t be forgotten, that’s for sure,” Justin Grover of Bradley said after the service. “We lost touch the past couple years, but every time I saw her it was always good — it was like nothing ever changed.”
Friends said Lugdon had a smile and presence that “lit up a room” and put people at ease.
“No matter how sad you were, she could just smile and it would take everything right away,” Grover said. “She had one of the biggest hearts I’ve known.”
Joseph Derouin of Bangor, who said he used to date Lugdon, said she “was just the type of person that was always loving as a mother, as a friend, as a sibling.”
Friends said Lugdon went through difficult times in her young life, losing family members to unexpected deaths and frequently moving.
Derouin said Lugdon was the type of person he wanted his son to be around while they were dating, but that Lugdon started making some poor decisions in the nine months leading up to her death, and those choices have “given her a bad rap.”
But those who really knew Lugdon will remember her as she was before those last few months, he said.
Friends held a vigil for Lugdon on Friday evening at Cascade Park.
The family and friends of Lucas “Luke” Tuscano gathered at the Charleston Town Hall on 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.”
“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.
The three 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.
A woman on her way to work about 3:30 a.m. Aug. 13 discovered the car 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.
Police officers and state police detectives attended all three funerals.
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.
Friends of the victims said this weekend they have been frustrated by judgments made by people who never knew the victims on their lives and actions.
“If you can’t have respect for the people in that car, at least have respect for the people who loved the people in that car,” Lugdon’s friend Holly Michaud said after the service in Bangor.
“People are trying to justify what happened,” said Grover, a friend of both Lugdon and Borders. “There’s no justifying losing friends.”