LIMINGTON — A Limington man ended a long-running dispute with his neighbor by killing him with a machete and then covering his body with rotting deer carcasses, police said.

Bruce Akers, 57, appeared briefly in York County Superior Court in Alfred on a charge of murder Monday. He entered the courtroom flanked by his attorneys, his head down, and was ordered held without bail, which is common in murder cases.

A affidavit by Maine State Police Detective Corey Pike described the grisly attack Akers allegedly carried out on his neighbor, Douglas Flint, over the weekend.

The detective wrote that Akers and Flint, who lived next to each other on Ossipee Trail, had previous run-ins, including incidents in which Akers trespassed on Flint’s property and in one instance, bathed in Flint’s pool.

Akers first called the York County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday because he believed Flint had stolen a six-pack of beer from him, along with other items.

Flint’s daughter Amanda Flint and his brother Roy Flint called the sheriff’s office Friday to report the 55-year-old missing. Amanda Flint worried that her father might have been suicidal after the 2014 death of his wife, Dawn, the detective wrote. When investigators interviewed Flint’s relatives in person, family members told the authorities that there had been a history of disagreements between Flint and Akers.

Officers went to Flint’s house Friday and did not locate him. They then went to Akers’ property and found Akers in his camper. They asked him if Flint was still alive. Akers told them he wasn’t, and then, when asked if he could take them to Flint, he said he could.

“The guy just wouldn’t leave me alone,” Akers said, according to Pike’s affidavit.

Akers was taken in for questioning and told police he had planned to call authorities, but “wanted a few hours of freedom … I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed it that much.”

Detectives noticed scratches on his finger, shins, back, arm and abdomen. They obtained a search warrant for Akers’ property, where a search dog found Flint’s body, covered with rotting deer carcasses. More deer carcasses were found near Akers’ camper.

A machete that tested positive for the presence of blood was found in the camper.

An autopsy conducted Sunday found that Flint had nearly been decapitated, dying of severe and extensive blunt and sharp injuries to his head and neck.

Akers said nothing during his court appearance Monday and mostly looked at the floor as he stood between his attorneys, Robert LeBrasseur and Paul Aranson. He was not required to enter a plea at the hearing. LeBrasseur told Justice Wayne Douglas that Akers agreed to postpone his right to have a Harnish hearing to decide whether he was eligible for bail until a later date. His next court appearance is scheduled for September.

Outside the courtroom afterward, LeBrasseur declined to comment on details of the case, because he was just appointed to represent Akers on Monday morning.

“I just want the opportunity to get to know my client and get to know the facts,” LeBrasseur said.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Robert Ellis, spoke outside the courthouse after meeting with the members of Flint’s family who attended the hearing. They all declined to speak to the media.

“They’re struggling,” Ellis said of Flint’s family. “It’s very emotional.”

Ellis also declined to comment on specifics of the case, other than to say police are continuing to investigate and examine evidence.

“There is a lot of information to be analyzed,” he said. “The case will be presented to a grand jury as soon as applicable.”

Ossipee Trail, or Route 25, becomes increasingly rural as it winds northwest away from Greater Portland, through Westbrook, Gorham and Standish, before reaching Limington, a town of about 3,700 residents. The stretch of main road is heavily wooded on both sides. Driveways, mostly dirt, branch off into the dense forest, which renders most houses invisible to those passing by.

The properties owned by Akers and Flint were adjacent and shared a dirt driveway. On Monday, that driveway still had yellow police tape across it but detectives were no longer at the scene. No one answered the door at Flint’s home.

Town officials said Akers previously owned both properties – a total of 7 acres – but split the land up several years ago after a divorce. Akers retained three acres for himself and sold the other four. Flint and his wife bought the four acres in April 2013 from the new owner after it was foreclosed and added a 24-foot-by-36-foot dwelling in 2014, according to town records.

Akers was two years behind on his property taxes, a town official said.

A neighbor whose family has lived on that stretch of Ossipee Trail for decades said Akers lived in a small trailer on the back of the property. He bred and sold huskies, said the neighbor, who declined to give her name.

“He lived in his own little world back there,” she said.

Both Flint’s brother and daughter told authorities that they knew Akers had exhibited odd behavior in the past.

Amanda Flint said her father and Akers had disagreements, including instances when Akers trespassed in her father’s house or left pieces of scrap metal on his property. She said her father had told her of one incident in which he and his late wife found Akers in their pool. Her father once told her never to allow Akers near her children, she told deputies.

Akers’ previous criminal history dates to 1980, including misdemeanor convictions for theft, disorderly conduct, assault and unlawful possession of fireworks.