The story of a missing mother-son fishing expedition that left from Point Judith, Rhode Island, on September 17, as reported by Fox 61, has taken a mysterious turn as it was revealed that rescued Nathan Carman was a suspect in the 2013 murder of his grandfather, John Chakalos, as reported by the Hartford Courant.
Nathan Carman was rescued in a life raft in “good condition” after floating adrift in the Atlantic for about seven days, after his boat sank on September 18. His mother, 54-year-old Linda Carman, is presumed dead.
Mr. Carman explained that his 31-foot aluminum boat began to quickly take on water, giving him only enough time to man the vessel’s life raft and grab food and water.
According to U.S. Coast Guard reports, no distress call was sent from Carman’s vessel.
“He looked for his mother but didn’t see her,” is how Fox 61 reported his mother’s disappearance during the ordeal.
A freighter spotted Carman’s life raft about 100 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard on Sunday. A Coast Guard ship met the freighter and transported Carman to Boston, where his lawyer, Hubert Santos, had made arrangements for him to be picked up, after making a statement, reported by the Hartford Courant.
“We are Nathan Carman’s attorneys and we are trying to reach him and we plan on having someone in Boston when the boat docks,” Carman’s lawyer’s statement reads.
The boat was lost in a deep-water area known as Block Canyon, reportedly making recovering the wreck impractical.
Nathan Carman was reported to have answered questions about the incident with Coast Guard officials when he arrived in Boston earlier today.
“That’s really outside our point of focus,” Chief Petty Officer Luke Pinneo was quoted when asked if the Coast Guard would be pressing for more details about Linda Carman’s disappearance. “Our main focus here is that he gets back safely and is reunited with his family.”
The internet soon recognized that Nathan Carman was the grandson of John Chakalos, an 87-year-old that was found murdered in his Windsor, New Hampshire, home in 2013.
“Anyone know where Nathan lived when grandpa was killed?” asked a WebSleuths user.
It turns out that Nathan Carman was the last person to see John Chakalos alive. The then-20-year-old man was reported to have eaten dinner with his grandfather on December 20, 2013, the night before he was found shot three times. The case remains open.
Nathan Carman was never charged in Chakalos’ death; an arrest warrant was reported to be returned to Windsor police with a “request for further information.”
A search of Nathan Carman’s apartment in 2013 was said to have revealed a shotgun and ammunition. The ammunition was said to not match with what was used in Chakalos’ slaying.
Another search, of Nathan Carman’s current Vernon, Vermont, home by South Kingstown, Rhode Island police, was reportedly made Monday evening. Comments on that search by police remain elusive.
Reports indicate that John Chakalos owned significant assets, with his now-missing daughter Linda, along with three other siblings, each set to receive $21 million.
The search for Linda Carman has reportedly been called off, with officials stating that too much time has passed for there to be any reasonable hope that the woman could have survived without food, water, and a boat.
The search for the missing fishers by the Coast Guard was reported to cover a 60,000-square nautical mile area. The organization was said to have been frustrated by their failure to find Nathan Carman in an area that was inside the search zone.
“I do know, we want to know why we couldn’t find him,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Groll was quoted. “Is there anything we can do better on rescues?”
Update 8 p.m. ET: The Hartford Courant is reporting on an audio recording of Coast Guard officials questioning Nathan Carman with regard to the sinking of his boat and disappearance of his mother.
“There was a funny noise in the engine compartment. I looked and saw a lot of water…. I brought the safety stuff forward… the boat just dropped out from under my feet,” Carman was quoted.
“When I saw the life raft, I did not see my Mom,” the rescued man, reported to possess Aspergers syndrome, a form of autism, said. “I got to the life raft after I got my bearings, and I was whistling and calling and looking around, and I didn’t see her.”
Nathan Carman was reported to have asked Coast Guard personnel if his mother had been found.
An application for a search warrant signed by Detective Lieutenant Alfred Bucco III with South Kingstown police was reported to be looking for “documents, maps, global positioning devices, computers, hand-held electronic devices and books that would provide coordinates, locations or positioning information” during the Monday evening search of Nathan Carman’s Vermont home.
The warrant was said to include statements describing repairs Nathan Carman made to his boat that could have “rendered the boat unsafe for operation” potentially leaving the man open to charges of “operating so as to endanger, resulting in death.”
Statements by a witness from the marina the mother-son team departed from were reported to describe Carman’s boat as having “many issues,” including problems with air entering its gas lines and a malfunctioning bilge pump.
A second witness stated that Carman had removed the boat’s trim tabs, used to help vessels plane more efficiently, and to have covered the resulting holes with sealant. The same witness said that he saw no fishing equipment in Carman’s boat.
Another witness told police that Carman had informed her that he and his mother’s destination was a fishing spot known as “Canyons,” located 100 nautical miles from the coast.
A friend of Carman’s mother reportedly told police that Linda Carman had told her she believed that her son was taking her to a spot near Block Island called “Striper Rock,” located about 20 miles offshore. The friend was also said to state that the mother refused to travel further than Block Island.
Both mother and son were reported to hold current fishing licenses and to have fished together about once a month.
Update 7 p.m. ET September 28: The Hartford Courant is reporting on comments made by Nathan Carman.
“I’m lucky to be alive, I lost my mother and very, very difficult people, especially the Hartford Courant are trying or, raking up the time when I lost my grandfather. [He] was like a father to me and casting that in just a very, very wrong light,” Carman was quoted.
Nathan’s father, Clark Carman, only learned that his son had been a suspect in the John Chakalos slaying with current reports, which have surfaced since his ex-wife was lost at sea and his son was found.
The elder Carman stated that his son had no “motive” and “nothing to gain” from his grandfather’s death.
“He’s not the type of individual who’s aggressive. He’d walk away from a situation rather than attack. Really it’s not in his mental makeup,” Clark Carman was quoted.
The Hartford Courant went on to state that a lawyer, Gerald Klein, who had once represented Linda Carman, had been told by the mother that she was certain that her son was not responsible for her father’s death.
“She was absolutely convinced that Nathan was innocent,” Klein was quoted.
[Featured Image by Michael Dwyer/AP Images]