March 17, 2010

Police: Son admits killings slayings

KELLEY BOUCHARD

— By

click image to enlarge

Doug Jones/Staff photographer : Friday, February 22, 2008: The Bolduc residence on Birkdale Circle in OOB has been boarded up, and police line tape perimeters moved back while the interior investigation is conducted friday at the scene of the fire that included three fatalities. (Update on the scene at OOB's Bolduc fire and triple fatal.)

click image to enlarge

Doug Jones/Staff photographer : Friday, February 22, 2008: Update on the scene at OOB's Bolduc fire and triple fatal.

Additional Photos Below

Staff Writer

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Matthew Cushing claimed to be depressed and may have been angry at his parents in the hours before he stabbed his mother, stepfather and half brother and set their house on fire, Maine State Police said Friday.

Cushing, 21, was arrested around noon Friday after he told police that he killed Carol and Christopher Bolduc, both 42, and 15-year-old Joshua Bolduc in their large Cape-style home at 15 Birkdale Circle on Wednesday afternoon, said state police Lt. Brian McDonough. Cushing is charged with arson and three counts of murder.

Cushing, who was living in Old Town and had been a student at the University of Maine, is being held in the York County Jail pending his arraignment at 1 p.m. Monday in York County Superior Court.

McDonough said it's too early to identify a motive for the crimes.

In an affidavit outlining details of their two-day investigation, state police said Cushing told them he was upset about his history with his biological father, Paul Cushing, who lives in Lincoln County, as well as his mother's and stepfather's refusal to pay for him to take a backpacking trip through Europe.

Police focused on Cushing early in their investigation. ''He was the missing family member,'' McDonough said at a news conference.

He said Cushing has no significant criminal history, and police don't know of any mental health issues on his part. Cushing probably will undergo a psychological evaluation in the days ahead, McDonough said.

The affidavit says Carol Bolduc left the family's store, Blustery Day Flags on Old Orchard Street, the strip that leads to the beach's famous pier, around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday to go home and be with her son Joshua. She was driving a silver 2003 Toyota 4Runner.

She later telephoned the store and told her husband that she had seen Cushing's blue 1995 Ford Taurus parked at the dog park off Heath Street, according to William Huntington, an employee at the store.

When Christopher Bolduc was unable to contact his wife or son around 3:30 p.m., he told Huntington that he was going home to check on them.

''Huntington told Christopher Bolduc that if he did not hear from him in an hour he was going to call the police,'' the affidavit said.

Huntington told police that Cushing had been angry at his mother and stepfather recently because they refused to finance the European trip and wanted him to resume taking college courses.

A neighbor reported a fire at the Bolducs' house around 5:40 p.m. Firefighters found that the three family members inside were already dead.

''It was a horrific scene and very traumatic for everyone involved,'' said Dana Kelley, the town's police chief.

Christopher Bolduc's green Toyota Tacoma pickup truck was in the driveway. Police later found Carol Bolduc's 4Runner, with bloodstains on its steering wheel and gearshift, parked near the dog park.

Dr. Meg DeWitt of the state Medical Examiner's Office reported late Wednesday that Carol, Christopher and Joshua Bolduc had been stabbed to death, according to the affidavit. Police declined to provide details about the weapon or the stabbings.

Also Wednesday night, investigators with the state Fire Marshal's Office determined that the fire had been started in three places: the kitchen, the first-floor hallway and the basement stairway. A melted, red plastic fuel container, a cigarette lighter and two cellular telephones were on the kitchen floor, and a digital camera was on the kitchen counter, the affidavit said.

Police wouldn't say whether they think Cushing set the fires to cover up the murders. ''Obviously, arson is a crime-concealment tool,'' said Sgt. Joel Davis, state fire investigator.

Fire investigators hoped to finish their work Friday. They were at the house all day and into the night, Davis said. Laboratory tests will determine what type of fuel was used to start the blaze.

State police contacted Old Town police at 10 p.m. Wednesday and asked them to try to find Cushing at his apartment at 368 Brunswick St., according to the affidavit.

McDonough said Cushing went willingly to the Old Town police station, dressed in pajama pants, socks, sneakers and a coat. McDonough described the young man as subdued and cooperative.

Police noted several cuts on Cushing's hands. He told police that he had received them ''while cutting a thick piece of steak,'' the affidavit said. Cushing said he had been wearing the same clothes all day, ''except for a gray T-shirt that was in his bedroom.''

Cushing told police he was walking around the UMaine campus in nearby Orono between 11 a.m. and noon Wednesday, according to the affidavit. Cushing said he was depressed and emotional, and decided to confront his biological father about his past.

He said he drove as far south as Damariscotta, where he pulled over and cried, then headed north and was back in Old Town by 7:15 p.m., the affidavit said.

Cushing told police that he hadn't been in Old Orchard Beach on Wednesday, hadn't seen his family since mid-January and had last driven his mother's 4Runner a year ago, the affidavit said.

Friday morning, DNA tests at the state police crime lab matched the blood found in Carol Bolduc's car to Cushing. Police also found a bloody backpack containing a knife with blood on it and a stun gun in Cushing's apartment in Old Town.

Police then contacted Cushing, who was staying with family members in Lincoln County, McDonough said. They interviewed him again, at the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in Wiscasset. They say he admitted then to murdering his family and setting their home on fire.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

kbouchard@pressherald.com

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Doug Jones/Staff photographer : Friday, February 22, 2008: Respectful civility has replaced a "keep out" attitude when this sign replaced one that offered something along the lines of "if you don't live here ...keep out (?)" The sign appears on Birkdale Circle near the scene of OOB's Bolduc fire and triple fatal.

20080222_OOB_PC
click image to enlarge

20080222_OOB_PC

Gordon Chibroski

click image to enlarge



Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)