Fryeburg police are still searching for the man who is wanted in connection with an aggravated assault and robbery at a woman’s pet grooming business.

Sgt. Joshua Potvin said police “have literally gotten over 100 tips from all over the state” since they distributed a sketch of the suspect through the media.

Police issued a composite sketch that was developed by working with the victim, but it has yielded no concrete leads.

Paulette Tuunanen told police that the man entered her business on March 18 with a pregnant dog wrapped in a blanket. She couldn’t tell the animal’s breed, Potvin said. The dog’s head was wrapped in the blanket, which the man was using to keep the dog from biting him.

The woman told police that she tried to call a veterinarian and the man made a reference about not wanting to go back to jail, then hit her with a statue from a shelf in her business.

Tuunanen tried to defend herself with scissors but was disarmed by the man, who then stabbed her, police said. She said the man took cash from her purse and money from a donation jar on the counter.


The man is described as in his late 20s or early 30s, 5 feet 8 inches tall with a missing tooth on the lower right side of his mouth and “severe acne.” He was wearing a green, canvas-style barn coat, a camouflage baseball cap and black winter gloves.

The gloves prevented police from gathering fingerprints, though they did recover some items that they are examining, Potvin said.

Potvin said police are not frustrated that the man is still at large.

“We still have plenty of work to do on it,” he said.

Officers have been canvassing the neighborhood and still finding people who have not heard about the attack, he said.

The grooming business is in Tuunanen’s home, in an area that’s unlikely to draw the attention of someone just passing through town, he said. “Someone would have to know the business was there.”


The assailant told Tuunanen that he had been referred to her by another person, but she could not recall what name he used, Potvin said.

Police have received no reports from veterinarians about a pregnant dog in distress.

The incident has gotten widespread media coverage in nearby New Hampshire as well as Maine, he said.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

Twitter: @Mainehenchman

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