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Apr 18, 2017 2:58 PM

Sheriff 'pretty confident' of sex assault suspect ID; Maine meteorologist speculation swirls

NH1.com

SOUTH PARIS, Maine — The investigation into an April 2 sexual assault is ongoing and speculations about the connection to a Maine meteorologist continue.

Officer Josh Aylward submitted a report to the Oxford County Sheriff's Office on April 2 at 1:25 a.m. stating that deputies responded to Bridgton Hospital and met with a woman in reference to a sexual assault that occurred at a residence in Newry.

The report added that the suspect fled the scene and was later reported as a missing person.

Chief Deputy Hart L. Daley of the Oxford County Sheriff's Office said their office did not release an alert about a possible sexual predator in the area because they felt that this was an isolated incident, therefore the suspect did not pose any danger to the public.

The sheriff's office has yet to file any charges, but Daley said they are "pretty confident" with who the suspect is.

Daley said more information regarding this case will be presented to the public once they are 100 percent sure that they have the right perpetrator. He cautions the public against speculating who that suspect may be.

WGAN, a Maine radio station, stated in a talk show Friday that there may be a possible connection between this sexual assault incident and the apparent suicide of WCSH meteorologist 46-year-old Tom Johnston.

READ: Possible connection between sexual assault, apparent suicide of Maine meteorologist

The radio station said Johnston was the only missing person in Oxford County around the time of the sexual assault incident.

NH1 News looked into this accusation and discovered that Johnston disappeared hours before the sexual assault occurred.

We reached out to Maine State Police to find out the number of reported missing people in the state during the time frame of the sexual assault. State police said they do not keep a master list of missing people, instead, individual cases are kept at the local level.

Daley previously said that: "We at the Oxford County Sheriff's Office have not filed any 'missing person' reports from April 1-3; however, we did obtain information from Old Orchard Beach that a local weather man was missing, but he was later discovered deceased in Auburn, ME."

Family members of Johnston reported him missing April 3 after not hearing from him since the night of April 1.

He had emceed the Springfest event at Sunday River Ski resort in Newry on April 1.

Auburn police found Johnston's body April 6 and said they did not suspect foul play, believing that Johnston committed suicide.

The autopsy results are "pending further studies" and should be finalized within the next two weeks, said Mark Belserene, administrator for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Maine.

Daley would not comment if Johnston is the suspect referred to in the report, stating, "Until we conclude the investigation, we don't release the names of victims, witnesses or suspects."

The Sheriff's Office continues to try to positively identify the perpetrator through multiple resources and avenues, such as DNA tests.

Daley could not speculate on how long it would take to conclude the April 2 sexual assault case.

NH1 News will continue to provide updates to this case as they are made available.

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