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Search continues in Maine as officer is charged with lying about taking missing person to hospital

WASHBURN, Maine (AP) — A Maine police officer accused of lying about a missing person’s case has been charged with several crimes, including falsifying a report in which he claimed to have taken the missing man to the hospital, police said.

Washburn Police Sgt. Chandler Cole resigned after being charged with aggravated forgery, tampering with public records or information, tampering with physical evidence and unsworn tampering, according to court records.

Cole said he had no comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

The charges, first reported by WAGM-TV, stem from the case of a missing person who appeared to be in distress when he was seen walking along a road on March 30.

Cole reported that he picked up Erik Foote and dropped him off at a convenience store, but he told Foote’s parents that he took him to the hospital.

An investigation concluded that Cole had altered his report to reflect a hospital stop. But no hospital records support this assertion.

Foote has yet to be located in a case that has fascinated the community of 1,500, who organized another search party to look for him this weekend.

The Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office is now leading the investigation.

The city is deciding whether it will retain a police department. Washburn’s police chief retired Jan. 31, Cole resigned in February and a younger officer is working elsewhere, City Manager Donna Turner said.

For now, the sheriff’s office is providing coverage while Washburn is without police.

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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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