Suspect-At-Large Changing How Mainers Live Their Lives
Police continue to search for murder suspect Robert Burton, who has been missing since the body of his former girlfriend was found in her Parkman home. And while he's still at large, Mainers are talking about how it's changing the way they go about their usual routines.
Police have been looking for Burton since the body of Stephanie Ginn Gebo was found by her children on Friday morning. So far, police have not released how she died, but almost immediately announced that they wanted to talk to her former boyfriend. Burton has a long criminal history, including kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.
On Monday, police found Burton's Toyota pickup and another truck that had been stolen from Guilford on Sunday. The stolen truck was found mired in mud in Monson. Now, members of several law enforcement agencies have converged on the area, searching for Burton, who has been formally charged with murder.
Community members are taking to social media to express their apprehension and fear at knowing an accused killer is on the loose. One woman posted yesterday how awful it is to fear pulling into her own carport. Another said that she's reminding herself to take the keys out of her vehicles, something she normally didn't do in the close-knit community where everyone knows their neighbors.
It's even changed the way I go about my routine, even though I live miles from the scene of the search. My house doors are locked, even when I'm there. I make sure my car is locked, whether it's parked outside work or sitting in my driveway. And I find myself looking around, as I drive to work at 4:30 in the morning. I'm not sure what I expect to see...someone running from tree to tree, or maybe trying to hitch a ride. All I know is that I'm much more aware of my surroundings, and conscious of my safety.
That's exactly how police want you to react, right now. Don't panic, but be aware of anything that seems out of the ordinary. Lock your doors to your home, especially when you're away. Don't leave your keys in the car, and make sure the vehicle is locked at all times. I would add, especially if you live in the Parkman/Monson area, keep your vehicle doors locked when you're driving.
If you see anything suspicious or have any information about Robert Burton's whereabouts, you're asked to call the Piscataquis County Sheriff's Office or dial 911. Burton is considered armed and dangerous, so police warn residents not to approach him.
I want to end this with a huge thank you to the members of law enforcement who are conducting the search for Robert Burton. While we wait behind locked doors for news of his capture, they are risking their lives, scouring back roads and forests to try and find him. Godspeed, folks. Be safe! We appreciate your dedication to keeping us safe!