NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine (CBS/AP) – After a four-day manhunt, police captured and arrested the man accused of killing a Maine deputy sheriff on Saturday, and officers handcuffed him using the slain deputy’s handcuffs.
Nearly 30 law enforcement officers assisted with the capture and arrest of 29-year-old John Williams at a camp located off Route 139 in Norridgewock at 12:43 p.m. Saturday. Police say Williams shot and killed Somerset County Cpl. Eugene Cole early Wednesday morning.READ MORE: Rally Calls For Asian Studies To Be Added To School Curriculum In Massachusetts
“We did use Corporal Cole’s handcuffs. I felt that it was fitting where he killed my deputy, Cpl. Gene Cole, and he was brought to justice using Cole’s handcuffs,” Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said during a press conference Saturday.
An intense manhunt for Williams focused in and around the heavily wooded rural community of Norridgewock, about 60 miles west of Bangor.
“Today is a very good day,” Lancaster said, while discussing the capture of Williams. “All our efforts over the last four days, more than 200 law enforcement officers, have been focused on finding the man who killed Cpl. Eugene Cole.”
Lancaster said his first call after Williams’ capture was to the family of Cole. “They were relieved, thankful and very grateful,” he said.
Orrin Moody, who lives in the area where Williams was captured, witnessed police officers close in on the accused killer.
“I’m just glad he got caught. He looked pretty rough, like he’d been hiding out for days,” he said.READ MORE: Dorchester Grandmother Killed By Stray Bullet While Sitting On Porch Identified As Delois Brown
Lancaster also thanked the citizens of Somerset County for their support of law enforcement officers during the manhunt for Williams. Citizens provided food, refreshment “and emotional support throughout this operation.”
“Words fail us as we try to express our gratitude. It really is a tribute to Corporal Cole,” Lancaster said.
He said the energy of officers searching for Cole “was bolstered throughout this operation by our memories of Corporal Cole.”
“Had another officer been the victim of this case, we knew Gene would have been here every day bringing his best effort to apprehend the suspect,” Lancaster said somberly.
At noon on Saturday, police read a statement from Cole’s wife urging Williams to come forward. Just 43 minute later, police made contact with Williams and arrested him.
“Tonight, the citizens of Somerset County can sleep well, know that a dangerous man has been taken off the streets,” Lancaster said.MORE NEWS: Water Conservation Urged In Massachusetts Amid Dry Spell
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)