GARDINER — The Massachusetts woman found dead in the trunk of a vehicle during a traffic stop in Gardiner last week is being remembered as “a precious daughter and a devoted sister.”

Police discovered the body of Maddilyn Burgess, 28, of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, during a traffic stop on Timberwood Drive on Aug. 9 in which Gyrth Rutan, 34, also of Sturbridge, shot himself in front of state police officers.

Burgess graduated from Medfield High School in 2008 and went on to receive an associate degree in medical assisting at Salter College, according to an obituary published by Paridis-Givner Funeral Home in Oxford, Massachusetts.

“She was often a source of encouragement to others with her sweet, genuine soul and infectious smile that lit up an entire room,” the obituary said. “She would want to be remembered for the beautiful person that she was, and have her life celebrated without guilt, remorse or anger.”

Attempts to reach Burgess’ family and friends were unsuccessful Thursday.

Worcester County District Attorney spokeswoman Lindsay Corcoran said last Friday that Burgess’ death is being investigated as a homicide, but she had no further details about her relationship to Rutan or a motive for the killing. Contacted again Thursday, Corcoran said no further information was available about the ongoing investigation.

Police pulled over Rutan after observing him driving erratically on Interstate 295. Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said Rutan got out of his car and shot himself in the head with a shotgun, taking his own life.

Maine’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner said Thursday that the results of autopsies on Burgess’ and Rutan’s bodies could not be released because the investigation is ongoing.

“Once the case file is complete (in about two to four weeks), we will address any investigative and privacy concerns before releasing any information,” Mark Belserene, the medical examiner’s office administrator, said in a statement. “If either concern is relevant, we will provide you with the available public information.”

A fund in Burgess’ memory, which will support Central Massachusetts YWCA’s Daybreak shelter for woman affected by domestic violence, is set up at Hometown Bank in Oxford, Massachusetts.

Sam Shepherd can be contacted at 621-5666 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: SamShepME

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: