A trucker from Maine is being credited with helping police find the woman who is accused of killing her 6-year-old son and dumping his body in South Berwick last weekend.

Steve Scipione of North Waterboro rolled into the Interstate 495 rest area in Chelmsford, Mass., around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday to use the bathroom. He was driving from Portland to Worcester, Mass., a run he makes four times a week for Maines Paper and Food Service.

Scipione, who has four children, had been following the story of the boy and watching for the blue Toyota Tacoma pickup truck that police were seeking.

“I was keeping my eyes peeled, and as soon as I drove into the rest area, I noticed the blue truck, and immediately I looked down to see if it said ‘Navy,’” Scipione said.

Maine State Police had tried to jump start the search for the truck, which was seen near where the boy’s body was dumped, by announcing Tuesday that it might have a Navy insignia or reference on the license plate.

Scipione saw that the Tacoma’s license plate holder said “Navy” and immediately dialed 911. The dispatcher knew right away what he was referring to when he mentioned the truck.

The driver appeared to be sleeping across the front seat of the pickup, her head against the driver’s side window, though he couldn’t see the person clearly.

“They had me on the phone the whole time. They wanted to know if there was any movement. I just kept my eye on her until the trooper showed up,” he said. “From what I hear, as soon as she opened the door, she said, ‘It’s me you’re looking for.’“

The trooper talked to her for about 10 minutes, went to his cruiser and then returned her papers, Scipione said.

It appeared to be over, and Scipione decided he had sounded a false alarm.

“I figured, better safe than sorry” and pulled back onto the highway, he said.

Scipione, who had watched the exchange from his truck, about 40 feet away, never spoke to the trooper.

An hour later, as he drove his own pickup truck home from Worcester, he glanced across the median and saw the Tacoma on a flatbed, with troopers swarming around it. He realized that his tip had paid off.

The woman he had seen was Julianne McCrery of Irving, Texas, the mother of Camden Hughes, the boy who died.

“That’s when I just broke down. I was so happy and emotional,” he said.

Scipione shared the news with his wife, Stephanie, with whom he had discussed the case frequently since the discovery of the body.

On Wednesday night, they were having dinner at Woody’s, a new restaurant in Waterboro, when Massachusetts State Police called to thank him for helping them track down McCrery.

“It felt pretty good,” he said.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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