Tuesday’s discovery of a body in a home in northern Penobscot County is connected to Monday’s four-hour standoff on Interstate 95 that ended with a suicide, but detectives would not say what that connection is.
Police found Lawrence Lewis, 68, dead in his home in Molunkus Township, near Medway, hours after Bruce King, 59, shot himself in the head in a U-Haul truck along the highway.
The relationship between the men was unknown Tuesday, but it was Lewis’s reported disappearance that led police to stop the truck in which King was riding.
King, who had been staying in the Medway area for a couple of months, was in the passenger seat of the U-Haul truck. The driver was a 43-year-old woman from Medway whom police have not identified.
Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said police had reason to believe that King and the woman might have information about Lewis’s whereabouts.
But police say they never got a chance to question them about Lewis’s disappearance because King pulled a rifle. Troopers tried to negotiate with King and even shut down the highway in both directions, but King ended the standoff by turning the rifle on himself.
The woman escaped from the truck before King pulled the trigger. She was not injured.
Not long after King’s death, police found Lewis’s body in his home, several dozen miles north of where the U-Haul was stopped.
It wasn’t clear Tuesday why police had not looked for Lewis at his home immediately after he was reported missing, or whether they had searched the home then and not found Lewis.
Police continued to look for evidence at Lewis’s home on Tuesday, and searched the U-Haul truck and a motel room where King and his companion stayed.
McCausland said there were more questions than answers Tuesday.
“It’s still very early, but this will be a lengthy and complicated investigation,” he said.
Lewis’s death is considered suspicious, but police did not say how he died. His body was taken to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta for an autopsy.
Lewis, who lived at 450 Macwahoc Road, was a lifetime registrant on Maine’s sex offender list. He was convicted in Caribou Superior Court in 1996 for unlawful sexual contact and rape. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison with five years suspended.
The Bangor Daily News reported in 1996 that the victim was 9-year-old boy who lived with Lewis. The crime occurred in 1992. Lewis left prison in 2004.
McCausland said Tuesday that he had no information that suggested Lewis was targeted because he was a sex offender.
In 1971, Lewis was convicted of aggravated assault. He served at least two years in state prison.
He was convicted of armed robbery in 1974 and served at least five years in state prison.
He was convicted of assault in 1988 and sentenced to one year in jail, with all but 30 days suspended.
Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at:
Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at: