BANGOR, Maine — The father of Brooke Locke, the Husson University student who police found strangled Monday, said Friday that he was in California picking up a load of materials when he heard his daughter was dead.
“The first thing I did was find the nearest Catholic church,” Bill Locke of Darby, Mont., said during a phone interview.
Locke, a truck driver, said he last talked to his daughter just before school started two months ago. He said he knew she was dating Zackery Mailloux, 21, who was charged Monday with Class A murder in her death after police investigating a report of a domestic disturbance discovered her body at the Essex Street apartment the couple shared.
Brooke Locke, 21, who graduated from Edward Little High School in 2010, was a third-year occupational therapy student at Husson and member of the Epsilon Tau Epsilon sorority. Mailloux was a continuing education student at Husson.
Locke and Mailloux had recently broken up, according to a friend.
“Brooke was leaving him and there was another guy,” her father said.
Locke, who is flying to Maine on Saturday for his daughter’s memorial services, said he is having a hard time dealing with “the amount of rage” he is feeling after learning about the “living hell that Brooke had probably gone through.”
Bangor police detectives have given him details about the case that he said he could not release because of the pending investigation.
The entire family is reeling from his daughter’s death, he said, as are her former classmates at Edward Little and Husson and fellow employees at Hannaford stores in both Bangor and Auburn where she had worked.
“It’s hard on everybody,” said Locke, who moved to Montana from Maine in 2008. “There is an awful lot of her friends at Husson [University] and in the whole community who are hurting. It’s not just the family’s loss. We’ve all lost.”
His daughter, who was an avid turkey hunter, had aspired to be an occupational therapist and to work helping those in her community, Locke said.
“You hear about this happening to other people, but you never expect you are going to be living this life,” he said later. “No parent should outlive their children.”
Locke described the homicide as a “senseless act of violence” and added that he is leaving the situation in God’s hands.
“It pretty much states in the Bible that God has his vengeance,” he said.
Mailloux, a 2010 Houlton High School graduate, is being held at Penobscot County Jail without bail until a grand jury indicts him, which could happen as early as next week.
Funeral arrangements for Locke are scheduled for Sunday and Monday in her hometown of Auburn. Her funeral is 11 a.m. Monday at the Fortin Funeral Home, located at 217 Turner St. in Auburn, and visiting hours have been changed to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday so family can attend the candlelight vigil at Husson University scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday, Locke’s mother, Priscilla Locke, said late Thursday.
The Husson vigil will be held near the bell tower on the Bangor campus unless bad weather forces it to be held in the Newman Gymnasium.
Locke’s Edward Little High School classmates are holding a candlelight vigil near the school’s bell tower at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.