(BANGOR, Maine) — Foul play is suspected in the case of a Florida firefighter who vanished 11 days ago after driving 1,600 miles from Florida to visit a friend, state police say.
Jerry Perdomo, a 31-year-old husband and father of two, rented a car and made the trek from central Florida to visit a friend in Bangor, Maine. He hasn’t been seen since Feb. 16.
Police searched a home in Jackson, Maine, this weekend, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. The home is believed to be the last place Perdomo was seen. Evidence gathered from inside the house will be taken to the state police crime lab in Augusta for analysis.
The home is owned by the father of Daniel Porter, who police believe had contact with Perdomo prior to his disappearance.
WESH-TV interviewed a woman who was identified as Lisa, who said she was the friend Perdomo was visiting. The woman said Perdomo stepped out the evening he disappeared to visit a friend and said he would return shortly to take her to dinner. He never did.
The next day, Perdomo’s rental car was found abandoned in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Police tracked down and questioned Porter, 24, and Cheyanne Nowak, 23, at Porter’s mother’s house in Connecticut on Friday. The couple had left their car, bought a used one and left Maine, leaving their families perplexed.
Nowak also posted a cryptic message on her Facebook page: “I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry your friend is missing. It is a terrible thing. I am so sorry about this. But I can do nothing further. Night.”
The couple has now returned to Maine, according to McCausland.
State police have impounded three vehicles in connection with the disappearance: Perdomo’s rental car, a car left behind at an Oakland car dealer by the couple after another vehicle had been purchased there, and a vehicle owned by Porter, according to McCausland.
Police also searched a dumpster near the Wal-Mart where Perdomo’s car was found, McCausland said.
Meanwhile, Perdomo’s fellow Florida firefighters aren’t giving up. Two arrived in Maine to try to find their missing friend and colleague.
“We’re going to go out there and walk and pound the pavement. The fire department has offered to do anything that we need to, to make sure this a productive effort,” said Lt. Dave Williams, vice president of the Seminole County Professional Firefighters in Florida.
The firefighters are canvassing the woods in the area where Perdomo disappeared, looking for clues. They join Perdomo’s sister and father, who came up to Maine from New York.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sarah Anderson, Deseret News
Megan McNulty, Deseret News
John Newsome, CNN
Doug Criss, CNN Newswire