Maine Murder Mystery Deepens

TV news cameras were not allowed into the service, but churchgoers could not avoid the satellite trucks and cavalcade of reporters who waited for them afterward.

Just a Normal Guy

Church member Bondeson, 53, was found shot in his home in the neighboring town of Woodland on Friday. He was taken to a hospital, where he died later that day.

Bondeson raised cattle and grew organic potatoes with his older brother, Carl, on their family farm. A longtime member of the church, Bondeson was a bachelor who lived with his parents until their deaths two years ago.

Many area residents described him as a normal person who was not acting strangely before the poisonings.

"[It's just ] shock … a shock," said Ken Erckhart, a friend of Bondeson. "It wouldn't add up with anyone around here, but somebody did it."

Investigators have been collecting evidence around Bondeson's house. While not revealing the specific evidence they have gathered, police have hinted that they can identify types of arsenic and that perhaps they are trying to link the type of arsenic used at the church to arsenic that may have been found in Bondeson's home.

Still a Special Place to Live

Police expect their investigation to take several days and perhaps weeks. Residents of New Sweden fear that it will take more than days and weeks for their town to return to normal. Instead of focusing primarily on the next bake sale and church service, they are talking about who could have been involved in the poisonings — and why.

"It's viewed here as a real tragedy. Everyone here knows somebody that's involved, either directly or indirectly," said Lake Stockholm resident Duncan.

"I'd say people here feel sympathy for everyone over there [in New Sweden]," he said. "There's no reasoning you can fathom for what happened."

Some New Sweden residents may take comfort from the attitude of the son of poisoning victim Walter Morrill.

"It was a very cruel way to go," Ronald Morrill said. "He didn't have an enemy in the world. He was very well-liked and loved."

But even though someone from the community may have caused his father's death, Ronald Morrill said he still loves New Sweden which was settled by Swedish immigrants in the 1870s.

"It is a great place, no matter what's happened," he said. "It's a great place to live, and it's a special place to live."

ABCNEWS' John Berman in New Sweden contributed to this report.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...