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Criminal Mischief - (03/04/15)

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Houlton homicide

Editor's note: The Maine Edge typically does not release the names of murder victims, but in this case the police are asking for the public's assistance with the case.

HOULTON Maine State Police now are investigating the death of a Houlton man as a homicide.

Police are identifying the man as Keith Suitter, 61, who lived alone in his mobile home on Hillview Ave. Suitter's body was discovered by a friend who had gone to check on him, after his pickup truck was found stuck in a snowbank about a half mile from his home on March 1.

Detectives are asking for the public's help, and would like to hear from anyone who had contact with Suitter over the weekend or who may have seen him or his pickup truck (a Ford F-150). The truck will be transported to the Maine State Police Crime Lab in Augusta and an autopsy on Suitter was scheduled for March 3.

Anyone with information should call the Maine State Police barracks in Houlton at 532-5400.

Seventy-five car pileup, worst chain collision in Maine history

ETNA When all was said and done, 75 vehicles were involved in last week's chain-reaction pileup on I-95 north, with 17 people hospitalized and 50 vehicles towed. Miraculously, no fatalities occurred.

The accidents started to be phoned in around 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 25. The pileup included several tractor trailers and a school bus and closed the interstate for several hours. The situation was exacerbated by swiftly falling, accumulating snow and low visibility. One of the troopers on scene described the pileup as a giant pile of metal, according to Maine State Police spokesperson, Steve McCausland.

Area hospitals set up emergency units to deal with the influx of patients, but since injuries weren't as severe as initially thought they thankfully didn't have to test their limits.

Brake light prompts confessions

HOWLAND An area man was honest with the deputy who pulled him over for a faulty brake light, letting them know he was a wanted man.

On Feb. 21, Cpl. Darrin Mason was on patrol in Howland when he saw a vehicle with a brake light out. He followed it, and the vehicle pulled into a transfer station. The deputy approached the vehicle to inform the driver, but the man exited the vehicle and without prompting and told the deputy he had a suspended license and an active warrant.

After confirming the license suspension and warrant, Mason arrested John Havlin, 29, of Howland and took him to Penobscot County Jail.

Pay the toll

BIDDEFORD A former toll-taker was arrested for reportedly robbing a toll-taker on The Maine Turnpike.

On Feb. 20, police said Jacqueline Bilbrey, 25, entered the booth armed with a gun and demanded money. She was given an undisclosed amount of cash. Bilbrey was located at her parents' home in Beddeford on Feb. 24 and arrested, charged with robbery and taken to York County Jail.

Police noted that Bilbrey is a former employee of the Maine Turnpike Authority who used to work as a toll-taker.

If the cop sees you drunk in your car and tells you not to drive don't

ORONO An area woman is facing charges after she reportedly ignored an officer's warning not to drive her vehicle while intoxicated.

On Feb. 28, while searching for a subject in an unrelated incident, Officer Camron Barrieau saw a woman in her car. She was identified as Ami Gaspar, 36, of Orono. Barrieau spoke to her to see if she had seen the person he was searching for while speaking he noted signs of intoxication and warned her not to drive her vehicle, and she agreed. Barrieau took down the vehicle information and continued to look for the subject.

A short time later, the car was seen in the vicinity of the Big Apple. The officer spoke to her and then administered field sobriety tests. Gaspar did not pass to the officer's satisfaction and was placed under arrest. She was taken to the Orono Police Department for an Intoxilyzer test before being transported to Penobscot County Jail and charged with operating under the influence.

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