AUGUSTA, Maine — A former Augusta man was arrested in Seattle on Monday night in connection with a 1976 homicide in Maine’s state capital, and DNA was used to connect him to the scene, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday.
“It was DNA off some gum he was chewing,” he said.
Gary Raub, 63, who was known as Gary Wilson at the time of the homicide, is charged with the stabbing death of Blanche Kimball, 70, whose body was found inside her State Street home on June 12, 1976, McCausland said in a news release.
“We had talked to him early on in this case,” McCausland said. “Evidence was preserved over the last three-plus decades.
“Each cold case in Maine, which are classified as unsolved homicides, has an assigned state police detective and reviewed periodically,” McCausland said.
Raub would have been 27 at the time of Kimball’s death. Raub and the victim had known each other, and at one time Raub lived at Kimball’s home, McCausland said.
The house, near the Hallowell city line, since has been demolished.
Kimball died from multiple stab wounds, according to McCausland. Augusta police found her body after neighbors reported she had not been seen for several days.
Kimball’s death had been under investigation for the last 36 years. DNA work by the Maine State Police led them to Raub, McCausland said.
“That technology was instrumental in this case, the [Rita] St. Peter case and others,” the state police spokesman said.
St. Peter’s bloody, beaten body was found off Campground Road in Anson on July 5, 1980.
Jay S. Mercier, 56, was convicted of murdering St. Peter last month in Somerset County Superior Court after 32 years, thanks in part to DNA collected from a cigarette butt that Mercier left on the ground during an interview with Detective Bryant Jacques in January 2010. DNA taken from the cigarette was matched to DNA taken from St. Peter’s body.
“The older cases, we’re constantly reviewing them and there will be more success stories in the future,” McCausland said.
Two Maine State Police detectives and two Augusta police detectives flew to Seattle on Monday and took Raub into custody, with assistance from Seattle police, according to the release.
Before Maine authorities headed to the Pacific Northwest, Raub was identified as a person of interest in the case, Maine State Police Lt. Chris Coleman said later Tuesday.
Police figured out where he was living and subsequently reached out to Seattle police, according to Coleman.
Raub’s initial court appearance likely will take place later Tuesday or Wednesday in Washington state, according to the release. Raub is being held as a fugitive from justice in that state, and the initial court appearance will kick off extradition proceedings to return Raub to Maine.
“At some point, he’ll be back in Maine,” Coleman said.
According to King County court records, Raub was arrested on assault charges in Seattle in October 2011. The jail records state he was released the next day.
BDN writer Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.