July 24, 2013

Police make arrest in central Maine murder

By DOUG HARLOW Morning Sentinel

PALMYRA  — State police detectives have charged a Palmyra man with murder in the bludgeoning death last week of 47-year-old Ricky Cole in the town of Detroit.

Jason C. Cote, 22, of Hurd's Corner Road, was taken into custody at about 7 p.m. at his grandmother's home in St. Albans, according to Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland. Cote most recently had been staying with his brother in Palmyra.

The State Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Cole died from blunt force trauma. His body was found July 18 in his mobile home at 24 Main St. in Detroit.

McCausland offered no further details Wednesday night about the motive in the killing or what was used to kill Cole. He said more information could be released when Cote makes his first court appearance Thursday or Friday in Skowhegan.

Cote and Cole knew each other, McCausland said, but he did not elaborate. It is uncertain whether either of the men has been employed recently.

Cote is being held without bail at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison. The booking log at the county jail lists Cote as living in St. Albans.

Detectives from the state police Major Crimes Unit worked over the weekend and into this week investigating the death, regarded from the start as suspicious. Evidence was sent to the State Police Crime Laboratory in Augusta for processing. An autopsy was performed on Cole on Friday.

In Detroit on Friday, at least one diver searched a pond in a swampy area near the mobile home where Cole was living. Also Friday, a state trooper was seen posted near a mobile home on Hurd's Corner Road, a dead-end road in Palmyra.

Detectives from the State Police Evidence Response Team removed clothing and other items Thursday from a mobile home on Dogtown Road in Palmyra, and police interviewed a man whom they did not identify.

Police said the activity in Palmyra was related to the Detroit death but would not elaborate then.

Somerset County sheriff's deputies and Pittsfield police were called to the Detroit home just after 3 a.m. July 18 about a report of a man who was dead in his home.

Somerset County Sheriff's Detective Lt. Carl Gottardi said when investigators from the department arrived, they found Cole's body and called state police, which handles most homicides in Maine.

The state police Major Crimes Unit arrived and processed the scene, and the body was removed from the home about 10 a.m. Thursday. The Main Street mobile home where Cole lived is one of two mobile homes separated by a two-bay garage on the property. The homes are about 50 yards off the road, directly across the street from the Detroit post office and beside the Detroit Heritage House, a church.

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

dharlow@centralmaine.com

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