Missing Florida Fireman: Family, Friends Search in Maine

PHOTO: Jerry Perdomo
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Police have said they suspect foul play as family and friends search snow-covered woods near Bangor, Maine, for missing Florida fireman Jerry Perdomo, who has been missing for 11 days since traveling up the east coast to visit a friend.

"Never in a million years would I think I'd be hanging up missing posters of my brother. How can you sleep?" Perdomo's sister, Skye Ramos, said.

Perdomo, 31, rented a car and made the trek from central Florida to visit a friend in Bangor, but hasn't been seen since Feb. 16.

"It's concerning, but at this point we're going to keep putting fliers up and we're going to find him," Perdomo's brother-in-law said.

Sunday's search included Bangor's old city landfill, which is roughly a mile from where Jerry Perdomo's car was found abandoned in a parking lot. The man's family, who have joined two of Perdomo's fellow firefighters who are canvassing the woods in the area where Perdomo disappeared, remain baffled by the married father of two's disappearance.

Police searched the home in Jackson, Maine, of Daniel Porter's father this weekend, which is believed to be the last place Perdomo was seen, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Evidence gathered from inside the house in Jackson will be taken to the State Police crime lab in Augusta for analysis.

Authorities believe Daniel Porter and his girlfriend, Cheyanne Nowak, might have been the last people to see Perdomo. The couple reportedly left town shortly after Perdomo disappeared after they bought a used car and abandoned the one they had been driving at the dealership, saying they had to leave town quickly because of an emergency.

WESH-TV interviewed a woman who identified as Lisa, who said she was the friend Perdomo was visiting. The woman said Perdomo stepped out the evening he disappeared to visit a friend and had said he would return shortly to take her to dinner. He never came back.

The next day, Perdomo's rental car was found abandoned in a Walmart parking lot with no signs of foul play.

"He always brags about his family," one of his fellow firefighters said. "He's always got that glimmer in his eye when he talks about them. So for something like this is totally uncharacteristic of him."

Police tracked down and questioned Porter, 24, and Nowak, 23, at Porter's mother's house in Connecticut Friday. Police questioned the couple and impounded their cars, but have not called them suspects in Perdomo's disappearance.

Nowak's mother, Deb Nowak, defended her daughter in an interview with ABC News affiliate WFTV.

"She's a full-time honor student and works part-time at the mall. Why would she risk everything she's worked for and be involved in something like this?" Deb Nowak.

She said that police considered Porter as the person of interest, not her daughter.

"I don't know much about him," Nowak said, adding that Porter is quiet and came from a good family.

"I can't say much else, this is all speculation," Nowak said. "He hasn't been proven guilty or innocent of anything."

Nowak told WFTV that her daughter has a misdemeanor drug arrest five years ago, but said she does not know if drugs are involved in this case. She also denied that her daughter had any involvement with Perdomo's disappearance.

Deb Nowak also said in an interview that the couple was staying with Porter's mother in Connecticut. She said she has never heard of Perdomo but that she didn't think he was a friend of Porter's because "he doesn't have many friends and is usually very tight-knit."

Cheyanne Nowak posted a cryptic message on her Facebook page: "I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sorry your friend is missing. It is a terrible thing. I am so sorry about this. But I can do nothing further. Night."

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