Somerset County Sheriff Seeks Peaceful Resolution, Tells Suspect In Eugene Cole Death ‘We Are Here To Listen’

The manhunt for suspect John Williams began Wednesday and has involved over 200 officers.

Somerset County Sheriff Seeks Peaceful Resolution Tells Suspect In Eugene Cole Death We Are Here To
Associated Press / AP Images

The manhunt for suspect John Williams began Wednesday and has involved over 200 officers.

As the search for John Williams, the alleged killer of Somerset County Deputy Sheriff Eugene Cole, enters its third day, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster held a press conference in which he directly addressed the 29-year-old.

“If John Williams is listening to me: We will do anything to resolve this situation peacefully. It has come to our attention during this investigation that he would like to reach out and speak to us. I would like him to understand we are here to listen.”

Over 200 officers from local, state, and federal departments have assisted in the manhunt that has included an air search and door-to-door visits. The search for Eugene Cole’s alleged killer is focused on a wooded area off Martin Stream Road.

Officers have a good account of Williams’ actions and location until Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday morning, the suspect was scheduled to appear in court for gun charges that were brought against him in Haverhill, Massachusetts in March. He did not appear for that court hearing. Maine Public reports that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has indicated that John Williams’ bail was reduced following his arrest and has asked for an investigation into why that happened.

Between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., Eugene Cole was shot and killed. The reason for the shooting is not known, but there are reports that John may have been motivated by the arrest of his girlfriend. Sheriff Lancaster has not confirmed or denied those rumors. Police have also not confirmed the location of the shooting.

Williams stole Eugene Cole’s car and drove to a convenience store. A dashcam in that car shows him entering the convenience store. He stole some items from the store then drove to Martin Stream Road, a long road that eventually turns into a gravel road near train tracks. At 5 a.m., police found the abandoned cruiser on Martin Stream Road. At 7:15 p.m., Eugene Cole’s body was found, near the same road. An autopsy was done on his body before it was sent to a funeral home. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Just before 10 a.m., Sheriff Lancaster announced the manhunt and issued a description of John Williams as five feet, six inches and 120 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

Bangor Daily News reports that a reward of up to $20,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of John Williams. Tips can be called in to 207-624-7076 or submitted online at tips.fbi.org.