May 26, 2018
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Police: Long-missing Trenton man killed by gunshots to the head

Photo courtesy Maine State Police | BDN
Photo courtesy Maine State Police | BDN
Richard Bellittieri
By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

TRENTON, Maine — Two gunshots to the head — one near his right eyebrow and the other to the right side of his cranium — are what killed Richard Bellittieri, according to state police.

The information was released Monday after it had been blacked out of a police affidavit filed on Aug. 1 in Hancock County Superior Court. Maine State Police had indicated in the affidavit that Bellittieri’s remains, which were found last month in the woods off Goose Cove Road, bore four gunshot wounds but had not explicitly indicated how Bellittieri died until Monday. The other two gunshot wounds were to Bellittieri’s right foot and right thigh.

William Morse, 43, has been charged with murder in connection with Bellittieri’s death. No bail has been set for Morse, who is being held indefinitely at Hancock County Jail.

Police also indicate in court documents that they believe Bellittieri was killed in Trenton between June 1 and Oct. 31, 2012. Aside from documents filed in court, police have not commented on when, where, or how Bellittieri was killed. Police have not indicated what kind of firearm was used in the killing or why Bellittieri was killed.

In the affidavit, police say Morse had been assisting Bellittieri, 61, in constructing a small condominium building on property Bellittieri owned on Goose Cove Road. Bellittieri’s remains were found by police on July 28 in the woods on the property, under a pile of potting soil topped by a large cut tree.

Bellittieri had lived in the Mount Desert Island area for many years but had no close relatives or friends living nearby, according to acquaintances. Police became interested in Bellittieri’s whereabouts in early June, after Bar Harbor police stopped a vehicle driven by Morse and found that Morse had Bellittieri’s Social Security card, driver’s license, and bank cards with him and that the car was registered in Bellittieri’s name.

Further investigation by state police detectives revealed that Morse also passed himself off as Bellittieri to a couple who rented a house Bellittieri owned in Hall Quarry, and that he may have impersonated Bellittieri when he was stopped for speeding in Southwest Harbor in January 2013 and in voicemail messages left last month for Bar Harbor and Maine State Police officials. Morse is the only one who has claimed to have seen Bellittieri since last summer, according to police, and also has used the dead man’s bank cards to withdraw $4,000 from Bellittieri’s bank.

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