A Maine man is due in court to face a murder charge in the killing of his girlfriend, who was found dead in Acadia National Park in June.
Raymond Lester was arrested by U.S. Marshals and local authorities in Cancun, Mexico, last week after a nationwide search. Nicole Mokeme's killing was the first suspected murder at Acadia in 35 years.
Her body was found in the popular park's northern section, at the campus of the Schoodic Education and Research Center, early June 19. She was killed in a hit-and-run crash, authorities said.
The 35-year-old was the creative director of Rise and Shine Youth Retreat in Bowdoin, an organization that offers retreats and programs for Black children and adults, and had helped organize the Black Excellence Retreat 2022 at Schoodic Institute, which was going on when she was killed.
A warrant was later issued for Lester's arrest. He was arrested in the Mexican resort city Monday, July 18, and flown back to the U.S., the Marshals said.
It wasn't immediately clear if Lester had an attorney who could speak to the murder charge, or the federal charge of unlawful flight he faces.
Witnesses told investigators they saw Lester speeding in a BMW SUV, drinking vodka and driving onto a basketball court on the night of June 18, according to a court document. One person said Lester said that Mokeme "doesn't like me anymore."
The body of Mokeme — remembered by friends as a loving, encouraging person — was discovered the next morning on walking path, with tire tracks leading to a nearby parking lot, authorities said. Lester's BMW was traccked to Massachusetts, then Georgia and Texas.