A Maine woman says accused cop killer John Williams was like a son to her and tells NBC10 Boston she is the one who found the body of slain Somerset County Cpl. Eugene Cole on Wednesday morning.
Kimberly Sirois says Williams lived with her at her Norridgewock home from 2003 until last Christmas, when she kicked him out for doing drugs. He moved in when he was in high school after a falling out with his parents.
"He was certainly struggling with addiction and it seemed to have gotten progressively worse since September," Sirois said.
Sirois, an education technician at Mill Stream Elementary School in Norridgewock, said the last few days have been a nightmare.
She said she woke up to the sound of helicopters overhead around 7 a.m. Wednesday and when she went outside she found Cole's body in her backyard and alerted police.
"As I lowered my eyes, I saw him," she said. "I asked him, 'Officer, are you OK?' and didn't get a response.
"I'm screaming, yelling, crying. I started screaming and waving my arms, and when I caught their attention, I said, 'I found your officer. He's in my yard.' They all came running over."
She said police later searched her property and found body armor and a gun in her car. They don't belong to her, and she said she's not sure if they belonged to Williams.
Sirois said she doesn't know what brought Cole to her property, and police have not commented on a motive.
"We have no idea what transpired," she said.
If Sirois could say one thing to Williams, she said she would tell him to turn himself in.
"This is as bad as having a child at war, it really is. You don't know what's happening and you don't know where they are," she said. "So I would just like him to turn himself in and come home."
Cole, 62, a 13-year veteran of the Somerset County Sheriff's Office, was gunned down between 1 and 2 a.m. Wednesday on Route 2 in Norridgewock, but police haven't said exactly where. Williams then allegedly stole Cole's marked cruiser and robbed a Cumberland Farms store on Waterville Road. He was last seen fleeing in the stolen cruiser.
The cruiser was found abandoned around 5 a.m. off of Martin Stream Road in Norridgewock. Investigators believe Williams then fled on foot, and has been at large ever since.
Williams is described as 5-foot-6 and 120 pounds with blue eyes. His hair is brown and unkempt and he has a full beard. He was last seen wearing a black beanie hat, a dark-colored zip-up jacket, gray pants and tan boots. His last known address is 16 Jones St. in Madison, and he has ties to both New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Williams' former coworker spoke to WCSH-TV, saying he was likely the last person to see Williams before he allegedly killed Cole. He said Williams texted him around 1 a.m. on Wednesday asking him for a ride. The ex-coworker said he picked Williams up and dropped him off at a house in Norridgewock about 30 minutes later.
"I was close with him at the time, the short time I did know him, and I just don't feel like I'll see him alive again," the coworker said.
He added that Williams was upset about a court hearing he was scheduled to attend in Massachusetts on Wednesday morning. Williams was facing 10 years in prison on weapons charges.
According to police in Maine, Williams has a girlfriend, Kristina Pomerleau, 32, of Norridgewock. She has just been arrested on Saturday on drug charges and operating with a suspended license. Cole was there for Pomerleau's arrest, police said.
Nearly 200 officers from multiple agencies, including the FBI, have been working on the case and are being assisted by law enforcement in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The FBI has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to Williams' arrest.
The search for Williams is now focused on the Martin Stream Road area. Friday's operations are expected to include door-to-door checks and searches of wooded areas.