Man accused of 1976 Augusta murder still not back in Maine

Posted Jan. 03, 2013, at 7:29 p.m.
This booking photo released Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 by the Maine State Police shows Gary Raub, formerly of Maine, who was arrested in Seattle Monday, Oct. 15 2012, for the 1976 stabbing death of a 70-year-old woman after DNA linked him to the crime.
Maine State Police
This booking photo released Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 by the Maine State Police shows Gary Raub, formerly of Maine, who was arrested in Seattle Monday, Oct. 15 2012, for the 1976 stabbing death of a 70-year-old woman after DNA linked him to the crime.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The man charged with murdering an Augusta woman in 1976 has yet to be extradited to Maine.

Gary Sandford Raub, 64, a transient living in the Seattle area, was arrested in October in connection with the death of 70-year-old Blanche M. Kimball, whose body was found in her State Street home on June 12, 1976.

Raub, who was going by the name Gary Robert Wilson in 1976, was expected to be returned to Maine in December.

“There was a health issue at the last minute that delayed his transport back to Maine,” Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said Wednesday. “We’ll revisit it this month.”

DNA evidence tied Raub to the 36-year-old murder case when he took part in an undercover “chewing gum survey” that police staged in July, according to an affidavit filed in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Raub, who was the prime suspect in Kimball’s murder from the beginning, was homeless in the University District of Seattle when he was suspected in the stabbing of another transient on Oct. 17, 2011, according to the affidavit.

Maine State Police Detective Abbe Chabot took over the cold case in 2003. She worked with Seattle police to match blood from the knife used in the Seattle stabbing to the blood found at the Augusta murder scene.

“The eight locus DNA profile obtained from the human bloodstained swab of the drawer face [in Kimball’s home] is consistent with the six locus DNA profile obtained from the swab of the knife blades [from the Seattle stabbing],” Jennifer Sabean, a forensic DNA analyst for the Maine State Police Crime Lab, said in the affidavit.

The estimated probability of selecting an unrelated individual at random from the FBI Caucasian population database was 1 in 399 million, Sabean concluded.

On July 18, 2012, Seattle police Detective Michael Ciesynski posed as a market researcher and asked Raub to participate in a “chewing gum survey,” for which he would be paid $5, according to the affidavit. Raub agreed.

The gum Raub chewed was then sent to the Maine State Police Crime Lab, where Sabean concluded that the DNA from the chewing gum was “consistent with both the epithelial cells found on the knife attributed to [Raub] as well as the passive blood drop found on the kitchen drawer of the crime scene at Blanche Kimball’s residence in 1976,” read the affidavit.

In 1976, Raub told investigators that he knew Kimball and stayed with her for one or two weeks as a renter before moving to a different location.

Police determined that Kimball was murdered between June 2 and June 12, 1976.

Dr. Henry Ryan, the state’s chief medical examiner at the time, went to the crime scene and on June 13, 1976, conducted an autopsy on Kimball’s body. He determined that she had been stabbed 25 times in the chest and abdomen and had 16 cuts to her head and three cuts to her hands.

Raub denied involvement in Kimball’s death, but provided a limited account of what he did on June 6-11, 1976, according to the affidavit.

Raub left Maine two to four years after the murder, Augusta police Officer Lee Clement told Chabot.

Raub’s arrest now marks the record for oldest cold case arrest in Maine history at 36 years, supplanting the previous oldest case — the July 1980 murder of Rita St. Peter in Anson. Jay Mercier of Industry was convicted of the murder in September and was sentenced to 70 years in prison last month.

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