The man accused of killing a corporal in the Somerset County Maine Sheriff's department, who lead authorities on a four-day manhunt, was captured on Saturday, according to Maine State Police.
“John Williams has been apprehended, alive, and was put in Corporal Cole's handcuffs!,” the Maine Association of Police tweeted shortly after his arrest.
Williams had been on the run since Wednesday, when he allegedly shot and killed Cpl. Eugene Cole, 61, stole the slain officer’s marked patrol car, robbed a Cumberland Farms convenience store and fled on foot, police said.
After the murder, Williams allegedly placed Cole's body in the front yard of a house belonging to a woman who said she raised Williams like a son.
“How do you be that woman that found him in your yard and know that someone you thought of as your own son — and know that he did that? How do you do that?,” Kimberley Sirois told the Bangor Daily News.
Williams was captured near a camp in the forest about five miles south of the town, Norridgewock, Maine, in what police described as “very difficult terrain,” according to the Bangor Daily News. Police were able to track his footprints to the camp, they said.
Maine State Police released a photo of Williams taken immediately after his arrest, showing him shirtless and with his hands cuffed behind his back. A hand grips Williams’s hair, pulling his head back to face the camera.
Police explained the photo by saying: "At the time of his arrest the team needed to confirm his identity with Unified Command. Williams would not present his face for the photo, and the arrest team needed to facilitate the picture."
“He was checked by EMS,” police said, “and was found to be uninjured and transported.”
Williams was arrested in March by Massachusetts State Police for carrying a handgun without a license and related firearms violations, after troopers found a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson automatic in his car, which he had crashed, according to the Boston Herald.
Williams was detained on $10,000 bail, which was later reduced to $5,000. He posted bail and was released from jail on March 31.
Williams was due back in Massachusetts last Wednesday — just hours after he allegedly killed Cpl. Cole — for an initial hearing in the gun case, which could have lead to more than 10 years in prison, a spokesperson for a local prosecutor there told the Bangor Daily News.
Cpl. Cole is the first Maine police officer to be shot to death in the line of duty since 1989, when Maine State Police detective Giles Landry was killed while investigating a child abuse case, by a suspect who later killed himself.
Early on Monday, Sheryl Cole, Cpl. Cole’s wife, posted a statement on Facebook describing the last time she saw her husband, shaving and preparing for work.
“He talked about the full moon and how it brought all the ‘crazies’ out. We talked a little, and abruptly he’d give me a hurried kiss and say he had to go.”
“The next time I saw my husband, he was laying in a casket.”
Cole’s funeral is scheduled for noon on Monday, May 7, with a public viewing slated for Sunday, May 6, according to the New York Daily News.
[Photo: Maine State Police]