Kidnapping victim says police could have prevented northern Maine shooting spree

The young woman who police say was kidnapped last week by a former convict said Wednesday that she believes law enforcement could've prevented the shooting spree that left her boyfriend and another man dead.

Brittany Irish told reporters that she urged the Maine State Police to keep a trooper stationed outside her family's home in Benedicta last Thursday after she found out that their barn had been set on fire, but she was told they didn't have the resources to do that. Hours later, 35-year-old Anthony Lord stormed the house and kidnapped Irish after shooting her boyfriend and mother, police said.

State police declined to comment Tuesday on those allegations, which her Irish's parents first made in an interview on Monday with The Associated Press. A police spokesman didn't immediately return a request for comment from the AP on Wednesday.

Irish, speaking publicly about the incident for the first time on Wednesday, said she believes state police are partially responsible for the death of Kyle Hewitt, her boyfriend, and Kevin Tozier, whom Lord happened upon during his rampage across northern Maine.

"I have to tell my children why they don't have a father and the only people that are to blame for that is Anthony himself and state police," the 21-year-old said through tears at a news conference held outside her parents' house.

The parents, Rick and Kim Irish, said they believe that Lord snapped after he found out that their daughter went to police saying he abducted and sexually assaulted her days earlier. Brittany Irish said Wednesday that the initial kidnapping happened on July 14, not July 15, as her parents had said.

The AP doesn't typically identify people who say they were sexually assaulted, but Brittany Irish consented to being identified, saying she wanted the full story to be told.

A state police affidavit released this week said Lord confessed to the killings. During his initial court appearance in Houlton on Monday, his lawyer said he was seeking a mental health evaluation.

Lord's lawyer said Wednesday that he hasn't seen any reports from the state that would support Irish's allegations that Lord had kidnapped and assaulted her days before the shooting.

"I don't have any information that in any way supports those allegations," said Hunter Tzovarras, an attorney in Bangor. "The information that we have received is that they had been a consensual relationship."