MOLUNKUS TOWNSHIP — Neighbors say they often heard screaming coming from the dilapidated home and wondered what went on inside, but were reluctant to inquire for two reasons: The man who owned the place was convicted of raping a 9-year-old boy in 1992, and people who live in this remote part of southern Aroostook County tend to leave each other alone.
“If someone has a problem we’ll help you out, but people who live here want to be left alone,” said Robbie McKay, who lives near Lawrence Lewis’ home on Route 2. “And I didn’t have any interest in knocking on his door.”
Neighbors say two men lived in the home for years but they have no idea why Lewis’ roommate, Bruce Heal, 59, also known as Bruce King, killed himself after a four-hour standoff with police on Interstate 95 in Lincoln on Monday.
Police released some details Wednesday about Heal’s last few days and the subsequent discovery of Lewis’ body in his home, but they have not said what might have led to their deaths.
Judy Harvey, who lives across the street from Lewis’ home in a small dwelling, said she knew very little about Lewis, who was 68, or Heal, who killed himself with a rifle shot to his head.
“If the president moved in next door, I probably wouldn’t know,” Harvey said. “That’s how it is here.”
Linda Todenhagen, who lives nearby, said she didn’t know Lewis or Heal but saw them from time to time. Heal, she said, often walked his dog on a dirt road near her house.
Lewis came to her yard sale every year, she said, and always bought children’s toys.
Heal and Lewis had at least one thing in common: long criminal histories.
Heal had convictions for burglary, theft and escape, dating back to 1981.
Before his conviction in 1994 for unlawful sexual contact and gross sexual assault, Lewis had convictions for assault and armed robbery.
Police said Wednesday that they were still investigating both deaths and trying to establish the relationship between Heal and Lewis.
Heal’s death led police to discover Lewis’ body.
Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said Lewis’ death is being investigated as a homicide. He said Heal told police before he committed suicide that he was responsible for Lewis’ death and that the body was hidden in the home in Molunkus.
Medical examiners conducted an autopsy of Lewis on Wednesday but McCausland would not release the cause of death, pending additional testing.
McCausland released the name of the woman who was driving the U-Haul truck in which Heal was riding Monday before he took his life.
Lynda Fogg, also known as Lynda Gordon, also known as Lynda Dube, is 43 and from Mattawamkeag. She has been interviewed by police about the incident and has been cooperative, McCausland said.
Fogg and Heal got married on March 1, according to police. A declaration of intent to marry was filed with the town of Mattawamkeag with both of their names. The couple stayed at Lewis’ home in recent months but moved out earlier this month.
The two checked into a motel in Medway on March 1, said Kristi Bouchard, an employee of the River’s Edge Motel. They checked out March 4 but came back on March 7 and reserved the room for a week.
“There was something strange about them,” Bouchard said. “When we asked where they were from, they just said ‘around.’ They made a point of requesting a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign for their door. And they didn’t want any maid services.”
They also told the motel’s staff that they “didn’t want anyone to know they were here,” Bouchard said.
Heal and Fogg left the motel Monday morning.
They had rented a separate room Sunday night at the Gateway Inn, about a mile from the River’s Edge Motel.
Ellen McLaughlin, an employee at the Gateway Inn, said the two seemed like a normal couple. They had two dogs with them and swam in the hotel’s pool on Sunday.
They left around 3:30 p.m. Monday, McLaughlin said, half an hour before police stopped the U-Haul truck that Fogg was driving.
Police visited the River’s Edge Motel and the Gateway Inn but found little evidence, said the employees.
In Fogg’s hometown of Mattawamkeag, southeast of Molunkus, employees at the Big Apple, a gas station/convenience store, said Lewis was known to have money, even though he lived in a shack. They said other people had lived at his home in the past, including other sex offenders.
Fogg’s ex-husband, Bill Fogg, said from his workplace in Mattawamkeag that he talked to his ex-wife after Heal’s suicide. She told him she didn’t know what had happened to Lewis.
“She was upset,” he said.
Bill Fogg said the rifle that Heal used to kill himself was a present that Fogg had given to his wife as a gift several months ago. The two divorced in January after being separated for months.
Detectives have searched Lewis’ home, which is set back from the road among tall, thin trees. The home appears to have several additions, with work that was never completed.
On Wednesday, the yard was littered with debris. “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs were posted in several places on the property.
Kevin Pelkey, who lives within sight of the home, said he didn’t know the occupants but often heard them yelling.
“I don’t think anyone was trying hard to reach out to them,” he said.
Eric Russell can be reached at 791-6344 or