The body of a man found several weeks ago has been identified as the person who has been missing from LaGrange for six months.

Nick Cross was reported missing June 15, after he jumped out of his sister’s car on Howland Road on the way to Lincoln and ran away, Casey Cross, Nick’s sister said in August. She said she was trying to get her brother to a hospital after a bad reaction to some sort of substance he had taken the previous day.

Nick Cross was then seen by a woman who found him lying in her yard. After she went inside to call 911, he was gone, Casey Cross said.

For months, members of the family and friends had been posting on social media, asking for help in locating the man. On Thursday, his mom, Crystal Davis confirmed Cross’ remains had been found.

A hunter found his body a mile and a half from where he was last seen, a day after Thanksgiving, according to an update to a page created by Cross’ family.

“If only we were able to have gotten authorities to believe us that Nicholas was lost and still in the woods, this may have had a different outcome,” the family said on the page.

If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.

A former school board member, teacher and coach from Milo will serve nine months and one day in prison for sex crimes involving a former student, according to the district attorney’s office.

Herbert Russell Carey Jr., 70, of Milo was sentenced today at the Piscataquis Judicial Center in Dover-Foxcroft to three years in prison, with all but nine months and one day suspended, along with two years probation.

Carey, who was a teacher and tennis coach at Penquis Valley High School and served on the boards of SAD 40 and AOS 73 until March, pleaded guilty to six counts of gross sexual assault, a Class C felony crime. The effects of the crimes on the victim and on teachers’ reputations make the case significant, according to Assistant District Attorney R. Christopher Almy.

“He went to jail today, and he will have to serve his time at a department corrections facility as opposed to the county jail,” Almy said.

Carey was indicted Oct. 21 by the Piscataquis County grand jury for the sex crimes, which allegedly occurred in 2015 and 2016. If Carey were to violate the conditions of his probation, he could be sent back to prison for up to three years.

The offenses involved a female student when she was a junior and senior, Almy said in August, when Carey was arrested and first charged with the sex crimes.

The victim, who is now 23, notified police in May, Almy said. She told them her ongoing relationship with Carey involved touching and sexual acts during the last part of her junior year and throughout her senior year, he said Monday.

The victim also told police some of the sexual acts occured in a hidden corner of a study hall room and on a road behind the school in Milo, according to information Almy provided. Some also took place at Carey’s camp on Schoodic Lake, he said.

The victim graduated from Penquis Valley High School in 2016, and her relationship with Carey continued until 2018, Almy said.

“It was a significant case because the defendant abused his trust and standing as a teacher to take advantage of a vulnerable student,” he said. “His actions affected his victim and those effects will last a long time.”

Carey also damaged the reputation of hardworking teachers “who work tirelessly in our communities to nurture healthy children,” Almy said.

Carey served as the Milo representative on the board of SAD 41, which serves Brownville, Lagrange and Milo, from 2018 until March, when he chose not to run for reelection. He also served from 2019 until March on the board of AOS 43, serving those three towns as well as Edinburg, Enfield, Howland, Maxfield and Passadumkeag.

Police interviewed Carey in May, when he initially said he knew the victim from school and had not seen her for a few years. Carey later told investigators that his sexual relationship with the victim began when she was 16 and continued until she was in college.

Carey said sex occurred in his bedroom, at his camp and in vehicles, Almay said. He told police he had been in love with the victim.

Carey’s attorney, Stephen Smith of Augusta, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

BDN reporter Judy Harrison contributed to this report.

A LaGrange man whose passenger was killed July 7 when the SUV he was driving went off the road and rolled onto its roof was indicted Wednesday by the Penobscot County grand jury on charges of manslaughter and aggravated operating under the influence of intoxicants.

Randall Hamm, 40, was allegedly speeding that evening when his 2003 Dodge Durango went off Medford Road in LaGrange.

Desarae Bourgoine, 35, also of LaGrange and an acquaintance of Hamm’s, was ejected from the car and killed, according to the Maine State Police.

Hamm’s blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit when the crash occurred, according to state police.

He was arrested and charged in December. Bail was set at $2,000 cash or $10,000 in real estate.

Hamm was released on bail but details about what he posted for bail were not immediately available Wednesday.

Bail conditions include no use of alcohol or drugs and no contact with the victim’s family.

If convicted, Hamm faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the manslaughter charge alone.

Randall Hamm appears virtually for his first court appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Dec. 28, 2020. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

One of the state’s longest-running ice fishing events will return for its 59th edition this weekend, as anglers flock to the Milo area for the Schoodic Lake Ice Fishing Derby.

The derby will be staged on Feb. 13 and 14, with proceeds benefiting Milo Fire Department charities and events.

Fish can be caught from Schoodic, Ebeemee, Seboeis and Boyd lakes during the event. A $10 ticket includes entry in the derby and drawing chances for shore prizes. Participation in the derby is not required in order for a person to win the grand prize or any of the shore prizes.

Back in 2014, one of the organizers of the event called it “The Fourth of July of the winter,” and said thousands of anglers regularly show up to compete for top prizes and enjoy the camaraderie at the festive derby. Those anglers also have the chance to catch some hefty fish, with five-pound salmon and 10-pound togue sometimes being weighed in.

A 2020 Polaris Sportsman ATV is this year’s grand prize, while a variety of shore prizes worth more than $5,000 will also be up for grabs.

Fish prizes include $400 to the angler who catches the largest salmon, trout or togue. Second place in those categories is worth $200, while third place pays $100.

In addition, prizes to those who register fish are worth more than $2,000. Among those prizes: An ice auger and a portable ice fishing shelter.

Mike Brissette of Vassalboro shows off a lake trout (left) and a landlocked salmon he registered during the 52nd annual Schoodic Lake Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. Credit: John Holyoke / BDN

To help sustain a deer herd through winter, Brownville created a deer pantry where hoofed friends can stop by for a snack. With daily feedings at 9 a.m., the webcams show off six views of the pantry from right at the trough to a wide shot where you can see all the deer gather.

This is part of the Three Rivers Community webcam project that has more than 20 webcams providing views of the region, which includes towns such as Milo, Brownville, Sebec and more. The project was started by a high school sophomore nearly 25 years ago to show how rural Mainers are finding new uses for technology to stay connected.

Check out the deer pantry from all the angles.

More than 700 acres of Wabanaki Territory in Piscataquis County have been returned to the Penobscot Nation through a land stewardship agreement, the tribe said in a joint statement with the Elliotsville Foundation Friday afternoon.

The land is located in Williamsburg Township — west of Brownville — and sits between two parcels already in the Penobscot Nation’s stewardship.

The 735-acre parcel comes from the Elliotsville Foundation, which owns 125,000 acres of timberland throughout northern and central Maine.

“The Penobscot Nation is extremely grateful to [the] Elliotsville Foundation for this generous restoration of land stewardship to our Tribe. We take our land stewardship responsibilities very seriously and appreciate the opportunity to once again have this parcel within our present-day landholdings,” Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis said.

“Through this gesture, Elliotsville Foundation has shown its commitment to strengthen and honor their relationship with the Wabanaki Tribes and recognize our long-standing cultural connection with the land and water,” he said.

John Banks, the tribe’s director of natural resources, said the land and neighboring Pleasant River — which is a tributary of the Penobscot — is “sacred ground to many people.”

“For the Penobscot people, this return expands our existing land base and also actually extends between, and connects, two of our existing Penobscot Indian Territory tracts, making both more accessible,” he said.

Lucas St. Clair, representative of the Elliotsville Foundation, said that he was compelled to “use his platform to tell a different narrative,” after learning about Maine’s history of land ownership and its relation to the state’s indigenous people.

“I learned the Wabanaki believe that they belong to the land and the western perspective is that land belongs to individuals and this is at the root of the misunderstanding of the way we treat land in Maine and around the country,” he said.

St. Clair said the foundation hopes to show confidence in Maine’s Native communities and the Penobscot Tribe as sovereign nations that can take on the responsibility to steward the land.

“While this is not the start or the end of a long journey of [reparations], it is what I can do now and what I hope to do more of while encouraging others to join us,” he said.

The Elliotsville Foundation is also part of First Light, a group that aims to “learn the history of Wabanaki land dispossession and to work together to expand Wabanaki presence in and relationship with their ancestral territory.”

“This is just the beginning of long work at making amends in real ways,” First Light Representative Peter Forbes said.

“After 350 years of colonization, the Wabanaki in Maine now have access to less than 1 percent of the land that once supported their place-based cultures. Maine’s rivers and mountains may carry some Wabanaki names, but the people and the stories that those names belong to have been relegated to small reservations out of sight to most Mainers.

“In the last 50 years, land trusts in Maine have come to work on [or] have relationships with almost 23 percent of the land in the state, which includes countless places of great importance to Wabanaki people and once stewarded by them. First Light exists as a bridge between conservationists and Wabanaki people to reconcile this history by expanding Wabanaki presence and relationship with their territory that we now share together.

“This is good for all of Maine,” he said.