Manhunt Is Over – John Williams Is In Custody
The manhunt for John Williams, suspected of shooting Sheriff's Deputy Corporal Eugene Cole is over, with the 29-year-old taken into custody, and placed in Corporal Cole's handcuffs.
Williams was found at a remote camp near Lost Brook, about a half mile back from Route 139 in Norridgewock at 12:43 p.m. today. Officials say he walked out of the camp and was caught by surprise. He offered limited resistance, however, when officials tried to take a picture of his face to send back to the command center to confirm his identity, he was not cooperative. He was seen wrapped in a yellow plastic sheet as he was led to a police vehicle. State Police say that Williams was medically checked out by EMS before being taken to the Waterville Police Department for questioning. Once that's completed, he will be sent to the Maine Correctional Center in Windham.
More than 200 law enforcement officials have been searching for 29-year-old John Williams of Madison since Wednesday. It was somewhere between 1:00 and 2:00 Wednesday morning when Corporal Eugene Cole was shot and killed and his cruiser stolen. The fully marked cruiser was driven to Cumberland Farms in Norridgewock, where dash-cam video shows Williams entering and exiting the store. Officials say he committed a theft at the store before leaving in the cruiser, which was later found abandoned off of Martin Stream Road in that town.
The search for Williams has included state and local police, Maine sheriff's department personnel, U.S. Marshals, and the FBI, including law enforcement personnel from other states. A nationwide alert was issued but State Police now say they were consistently finding evidence in the woods that indicated that Williams was still in the area.
Sheriff Lancaster said he called Corporal Cole's family immediately, when Williams' arrest was confirmed. He said they were relieved and very grateful. He went on to say that, had Gene been alive he would have been a part of the search, and that he would have been proud of the teamwork that brought Williams into custody.
Corporal Eugene Cole was a 13-year veteran with the Somerset County Sheriff's Office who has been described as a good man and someone who was always looking for ways to help others. His son is also a member of the Sheriff's Department. 62-year-old Corporal Cole is survived by a wife and four children.
Funeral arrangements are set for Corporal Cole. Visiting hours will be held Sunday, May 6th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Skowhegan Armory 11 North School Street in Skowhegan. His funeral will be held at noon on Monday, May 7th, at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Law enforcement officers from across the country are expected to attend, as well as residents of Somerset County.
Memorial contributions can be sent to Corporal Eugene Cole Memorial Fund, c/o Bangor Savings Bank, 113 Madison Avenue, Skowhegan, 04976.