September 22, 2019
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Police say Massachusetts man who shot himself after Gardiner traffic stop had Bangor area ties

Caitlin Rogers | BDN
Caitlin Rogers | BDN

The man who shot and killed himself Thursday after a traffic stop in Gardiner has been identified by Maine State Police as Gyrth Rutan, 34, of Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

The woman whose body was discovered in the trunk of the man’s car was not identified, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. She did not die in Maine.

Her death is being investigated by the Worcester County, Massachusetts, District Attorney’s Office, McCausland said Friday in a media release.

[Police allegedly find body in trunk after man shoots self during traffic stop]

The Bangor Daily News’ efforts to reach the office were unsuccessful Friday afternoon.

The Worcester, Massachusetts, Telegram reported that a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said Friday that “the death of the woman is under investigation by state police detectives assigned to the office, and did not release any additional details.”

The newspaper also reported that “a neighbor at a small apartment complex on Fairview Park Road in Sturbridge said investigators were in and out of unit No. 12 all day Friday.”

Rutan’s Facebook page said that his hometown was Dedham and that he attended Hermon and Brewer high schools but did not say when or if he graduated from either one. He also said that he had worked at the Department of Parks and Recreation for the city of Bangor.

Director Tracy Willette confirmed Saturday morning that Rutan was a seasonal employee of the department between 2010 and 2014 cutting grass in the city’s parks and doing other summer maintenance work.

“He left on his own,” Willette said. “That’s about all I can tell you.”

Rutan also said on his Facebook page that he was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 42. Messages to the union, located in Manchester, Connecticut, were not returned Friday or Saturday.

The most recent public post on Rutan’s Facebook page is from May 18, 2017. It appears to be a photo of him and co-workers at a job site.

An autopsy determined that Rutan died of a shotgun wound to the head, the release said. His death was ruled a suicide.

“It is not clear why Rutan drove to Maine, but he has family located in Maine and his Facebook page indicates that he grew up in Brewer,” McCausland said.

A state trooper pulled over Rutan’s car on Timberwood Drive after dispatchers in Augusta received reports that it was driven erratically on Interstate 295, not far from where the highway converges with Interstate 95 north and south, according to previous reports. The trooper saw the car on the interstate, followed it onto Route 201 and onto Timberwood Drive.

The driver of the vehicle “immediately got (out) of the vehicle and shot himself” fatally, McCausland said Thursday night. Troopers found a body in the man’s trunk during their investigation.

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