JACKSON, Maine -- A man was arrested Tuesday on a murder charge in the case of a firefighter from Florida who had been missing in Maine since mid-February, said police, who are calling the killing drug-related.
State police charged Daniel Porter, 24, of Bangor, in the death of Jerry Perdomo of Orange City, Fla., who had been missing in Maine since Feb. 16. Spokesman Stephen McCausland of the Maine Public Safety Department said the 31-year-old Perdomo's body had not been recovered.
McCausland would not comment on how Perdomo was killed, saying that and other details, including how Porter and Perdomo knew each other, would be revealed in an affidavit to be filed when Porter makes his first court appearance.
"It was a drug-related homicide," said McCausland. Porter could appear in court as early as Wednesday, he said.
Porter was arrested at a home rented by his father in Jackson, a small, rural town in central Maine. He was taken to a county jail in Belfast, and McCausland said he did not know whether Porter had an attorney.
Porter had been identified earlier as a person of interest in the case as some of Perdomo's friends put up posters around the Bangor area hoping for his return. Perdomo was a firefighter for Seminole County, Fla.
Perdomo's brother-in-law, Chris Lerch, was at the Jackson house earlier Tuesday afternoon when state police pulled into the driveway with Porter in the front seat, the Bangor Daily News said. Lerch had been putting up posters showing Perdomo's picture.
"It's difficult," he told the newspaper. "It's just very difficult."
A car Perdomo had rented was found in the parking lot of a Bangor Wal-Mart. Police also seized a car that had been owned by Porter and was left behind a dealership in Oakland, about 70 miles south of Bangor, and a new car bought by Porter and his girlfriend, 25-year-old girlfriend, Cheyanne Nowak. The girlfriend was not charged in the case.
"We believe Porter is the one responsible for Perdomo's death," McCausland said.
In an interview Monday, Perdomo's wife, Tonya Perdomo, described the father of 3- and 10-year-old children as a dedicated man who "helped people a lot."