FARMINGTON — Police are testing DNA samples from three men accused of robbing a couple at gunpoint Halloween night against blood found at the scene of the unsolved slaying of 81-year-old Grace Burton, who was fatally stabbed during a home invasion last June, according to Chief Jack Peck.

The investigation so far has not turned up any evidence suggesting the two crimes are linked, Peck said Monday. But investigators handling the Burton homicide have been looking into crimes that involve certain violent behavior, Peck said.

“When somebody steps over the line and enters a home with knives and guns we have to look into (a possible link),” he said. Peck said he didn’t know how long it would take to get test results.

The three men – Kevin S. Crandall, 27, of Wilton; Marcus A. Thompson, 26, of Farmington; and Michael E. Kidd Jr., 20, of Chesterville – face multiple charges in connection with a string of Halloween crimes.

They are accused of breaking into four homes, including one where a couple was held at gunpoint by three masked men, police said.

Police have identified a DNA sample from Burton’s suspected killer, a male who they believe cut his hands and left behind a significant amount of blood during the home invasion on June 21.

In the months since the slaying, more than 150 samples have been taken from known violent criminals, with no matches or arrests yet, Peck said.

Investigators believe the assailant cut a screen and entered through the unlocked window in the back of Burton’s first-floor apartment.

Burton called 911 after she was stabbed, but died from her wounds later that morning at a Lewiston hospital.

In the Halloween night robbery, the couple, ages 65 and 63, opened their door, mistaking the men in black ski masks for trick-or-treaters, police said.

The men forced their way inside the home, eventually forcing the husband to drive two of the robbers to an ATM while his wife remained at gunpoint back at the house, police said.

The men fled the home after threatening to kill the couple if they reported the crime, police said.

Crandall and Kidd are each being held on $50,000 cash bail. They are awaiting court dates this month to address unrelated charges before answering to the most recent charges against them.

Thompson was being held on $30,000 cash bail. All three men are scheduled to appear in court Dec. 16 to update the status of their charges tied to the crime spree.

Family and friends of Burton have raised $14,300 to offer as a reward to help find her killer.

Robert Butterfield, Burton’s oldest son, announced the reward in September on behalf of his mother’s family and friends, he said. He did not respond to messages asking about the investigation.

 

David Robinson can be contacted at 861-9287 or at: [email protected]