ALFRED – Investigators searching for Kelly Gorham, the nursing student who vanished from her apartment in August 2007, spoke calmly and did not accuse her ex-fiance, Jason Twardus, of any wrongdoing during the first two interviews they conducted with him.

But during the third interview with Twardus, about a week after Gorham was reported missing, detectives suddenly turned up the heat.

“You’ve got some things you have to share with us that you’re holding back. We need you to lead us in her direction,” a Maine State Police detective said on the tape heard Friday by the jury in York County Superior Court, where Twardus is on trial for murder.

Gorham was last seen alive in her apartment in Alfred on the night of Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007. She was reported missing the next day after she didn’t show up for work at Maine Medical Center in Portland.

“I think you were in Alfred Tuesday night and I don’t think you are telling us about it,” the detective pressed in the interview.

“I don’t remember if I ended up in Alfred or not. If I knew I would tell someone,” Twardus said.

He told Lt. Walter Grzyb and Lt. Brian McDonough of the state police that he was doing his best to remember the events of that week. He said his memory was fuzzy because he had smoked marijuana Monday night, and he thought it might have been laced with a stronger drug.

Twardus said part of the reason he was in such emotional turmoil was the fact that he had been impaired by the drug use.

“I honestly can’t remember, I wish I could,” Twardus said when asked again if he had been in Alfred the night of Aug. 7. He had not mentioned the marijuana use in the two prior interviews with police.

Despite the trouble with his memory, Twardus stuck by his story that he had nothing to do with Gorham’s disappearance. He maintained his innocence in a phone call with a friend that was recorded by police without Twardus’ knowledge.

During the interview with Grzyb and McDonough, Twardus broke down in tears.

“She was the sweetest girl,” he said. “I can’t imagine anyone wanting to harm her. I have no idea where she is. Honestly I did not harm her in any way.”

Prosecutors say Twardus, 29, went to the apartment in Alfred and strangled Gorham sometime on the morning of Aug. 8, 2007, then buried her body on a remote piece of land owned by his father in northern New Hampshire. Her body was found three weeks later.

Daniel Lilley, Twardus’ defense attorney, has sought to deflect suspicion from his client and place it on two other men.

John Durfee, Gorham’s landlord, and Calvin DeGreenia, another man who lived on the property and who had developed a romance with Gorham, said they had dinner and drinks with her on the night before she was reported missing. The testimony of Durfee and DeGreenia earlier this week was often inconsistent with previous statements they made to police.

The murder trial began Monday and is expected to run through the end of next week.

 

Staff Writer Trevor Maxwell can be contacted at 791-6451 or at: [email protected]