The Massachusetts man who police say blasted himself with a shotgun after getting pulled over last week in Maine reportedly “was talking about troubles he was having” during a visit to the state a week before his death, a friend and former neighbor claimed.
Gyrth Rutan, of Sturbridge, was stopped Thursday in Gardiner by an officer investigating a report of an erratic driver along Interstate-295, Maine State Police said. Rutan, 34, then stepped out of the vehicle with a shotgun and pointed the weapon at his own head before pulling the trigger. A woman's body was found later in Rutan’s trunk and police added they believed her death did not take place in Maine.
Worcester County investigators identified the woman Monday afternoon as 28-year-old Maddilyn Burgess, but did not give details about her possible relationship to Rutan.
“It is not clear why Rutan drove to Maine, but he has family located in Maine and his Facebook page indicates that he grew up in Brewer,” Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said in a statement.
But a 38-year-old man who identified himself to the Bangor Daily News as Rutan’s friend and former neighbor said Rutan visited him about a week before he committed suicide, and didn’t seem well.
“He wasn’t looking too great,” the man told the newspaper, adding that Rutan was in better spirits when he came up for a visit around Christmas time last year. “He was talking about troubles he was having with his finances, with work, with his most recent girlfriend. He came up for a few days and said he wanted to go camping but he didn’t end up staying.”
The friend also said Rutan – who arrived Aug. 1 and left that weekend – never talked about harming anyone.
“There was no indication things were as bad as they obviously were,” the man told the Bangor Daily News.
On the Facebook page purportedly belonging to Rutan, he listed himself as a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 42, based in Manchester, Connecticut.
The friend said in December, Rutan recently was “accepted into the union” and was “pretty proud of that."
“He was making good money and working a lot of overtime installing power lines and running heavy equipment,” the man claimed.
Rutan used to work as a member of the Bangor Department of Parks and Recreation and their director on Sunday confirmed his employment, the Bangor Daily News reported.
The friend said Rutan left a job there in 2014 and moved to California with his daughter to pursue “better work opportunities”. Years later, he came back to the East Coast and settled in Sturbridge to be close to his father, the man added.
Police in Sturbridge on Friday were seen going in and out of a unit at an apartment complex and a neighbor interviewed there by the Worcester Telegram said police had asked when she last saw its occupant.
Maine State Police also say the woman’s death is being looked into by the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office, which, when contacted by Fox News on Monday morning, did not have an update on the investigation at that time.
Fox News' Mike Arroyo contributed to this report.