BANGOR, Maine — It has been a month since the horrific triple homicide that left three people in their 20s burned beyond recognition inside a car that was left ablaze, and investigators are now saying the case may have something to do with drugs.
Bangor police continue to search for the killer or killers and have asked the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency for assistance, Bangor police Detective Sgt. Paul Kenison said Tuesday.
“It’s a complex and very involved investigation,” he said. “We’ve been working with a lot of different agencies — they are one of them.”
Kenison would not say what the MDEA is doing to assist in the homicide investigation and he directed all questions to the drug agency’s division commander for northern Maine, who also declined to discuss the case.
No arrests have been made in the triple homicide and investigators are still unwilling to say if they have identified a person or persons of interest, Kenison said.
The bodies of Daniel T. Borders, 26, of Hermon; Nicolle A. Lugdon, 24, of Eddington; and Lucas A. Tuscano, 28, of Bradford were found burned inside a white Pontiac sedan with Rhode Island plates that was discovered on fire early on Aug. 13 in the back parking lot of Automatic Distributors, located at 22 Target Industrial Circle.
A person was caught by video surveillance cameras walking away from the burning car, but police continue to be tight-lipped about who they believe was driving the vehicle and whether they have interviewed the person.
The victims’ friends have said the Rhode Island car was driven to Maine by an out-of-state man who comes up on occasion, always in a rental car. They used his name, which the Bangor Daily News is withholding because he has not been charged with any crime.
When asked if investigators had interviewed the out-of-state man, Kenison said, “I can’t talk about that.”
The out-of-state man, who friends say knew Lugdon and Borders, reportedly knocked on the front door of a Bangor apartment about 1 a.m. Aug. 13 and left with the three homicide victims, possibly to go smoke marijuana.
A couple of hours later, at about 3:30 a.m., a woman driving to work discovered the Pontiac ablaze in the back parking lot of Automatic Distributors.
Police also are not disclosing how the three homicide victims were killed, whether they were dead before the fire was started, whether an accelerant was used to burn the car, or whether investigators have additional video surveillance evidence from outside the crime scene, Kenison said.
The disclosure that the MDEA was involved in the investigation is the first time illegal drug use has officially been linked to the homicide, even though speculation to that effect has been rampant over the last month.
“There is all kinds of rumors out there,” Kenison said.
Borders and Lugdon both have drug convictions, according to court listings printed in the Bangor Daily News, and they were both using illegal drugs, their friends and families said.
Borders’ criminal history includes convictions for unlawful possession of scheduled drugs in September 2009, assault in December 2010 and a Massachusetts arrest for trafficking in cocaine in June 2009. The trafficking charge was later dropped, the mother of Borders’ child has said.
Lugdon was convicted of possessing marijuana in 2008, and her family and several close friends confirm that she used marijuana, diverted prescription medications and — during the last months she was alive — cocaine and heroin.
Lugdon’s mother died of a heroin overdose in March 2002, and five months later her father killed her grandmother during an argument over drugs, according to BDN archives.
While the Bangor Police Department continues to be the lead investigative agency, the Maine attorney general’s office took over the case shortly after the state medical examiner’s office determined that the deaths were homicides.
Local police have partnered with Maine State Police, the state fire marshal’s office and now the MDEA to find out who is responsible for the deaths of Borders, Lugdon and Tuscano.
“We’ve talked to a lot of people and we’re continuing to speak with people,” Kenison said. “The investigation is proceeding and we are moving forward.”