WATERVILLE — In addition to grieving her death, colleagues of homicide victim Melissa Sousa now have something more to feel sick about.

Canisters placed at three Dunkin’ Donuts locations to collect donations for Sousa’s family were stolen over the weekend.

The body of Sousa, 29, was found Oct. 23 in the basement of the apartment building at 32 Gold St. where she lived with her longtime boyfriend, Nicholas Lovejoy, 28, who has been charged with murder in her death.

Melissa Sousa Photo courtesy of Maine State Police

The donation canisters at the Dunkin’ Donuts shops were to help with funeral and other expenses related to Sousa’s 8-year-old twin girls, who are now in state Department of Health & Human Services foster care until a decision is made as to where they will live.

Waterville police Sgt. Joshua Woods said Wednesday that canisters on Sunday were stolen from the Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street where Sousa worked, as well as from the Dunkin’ Donuts on College Avenue. A third canister was stolen from another location, though Woods was not sure exactly where, as Officer Nathan Bernier, who is investigating the thefts, was off Wednesday. Employees at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Kennedy Memorial Drive, as well as the one at Walmart, said Wednesday that a canister was not stolen from those locations.

Woods said an employee at the College Avenue location saw a man grab the canister Sunday and run off with it. Bernier responded to that location and then went to the Main Street Dunkin’ Donuts to warn employees there about the theft. Bernier was told someone already had stolen a donation canister from there, according to Woods.


It is unclear how much money was in each canister.

Woods said anyone with information about the thefts may call the police department at 680-4700 and ask for Bernier. The Dunkin’ Donuts locations have surveillance cameras, Woods said.

He said taking the canisters constitutes a theft. If more than $1,000 is stolen, it constitutes a felony.

“A first offense that’s under $1,000 is a Class E,” punishable by a fine and up to six months in jail, Woods said.

A funeral for Sousa is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at Veilleux Funeral Home on Elm Street.

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