NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — The woman who found the body of slain Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole in her yard early Wednesday morning said she practically raised the man accused of killing him.
Kimberley Sirois, an ed tech at Mill Stream Elementary School, said she discovered Cole’s body lying in the side yard near her driveway around 7:15 a.m. — about 5 hours after police say the officer was shot and killed in the line of duty. Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland confirmed Cole’s body was found at her address.
Sirois doesn’t know the details of the alleged crime or how Cole ended up in the yard of the house where his suspected killer, John D. Williams, once lived.
“How do you be that woman that found him in your yard and know that someone you thought of as your own son — and know that he did that? How do you do that?” she said, sitting in her dining room with tears in her eyes.
On Wednesday morning, prompted by the sound of a helicopter overhead, Sirois walked out onto her lawn and spotted the deputy’s body, she said.
He almost looked asleep, she said. “I walked up to him and said, ‘Officer, are you OK?’” she said. Then she started screaming and waved her arms to summon a group of police officers that were standing across the street near the town fire station.
It wasn’t until later that morning when police interviewed her that she learned Williams, who had lived with her throughout his high school years and as recently as last fall and whom she thought of like a son, was the suspect in Cole’s killing and the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
On the table in front of her Thursday afternoon were framed pictures of her large family, including many photos of a younger Williams — years before she said he started using hard drugs, collecting guns and pulling away from her family.