flag image

Crime in Carroll County in 2011


December 29, 2011
COUNTY — Major crimes in Carroll County captured headlines for several weeks in 2011, including one that captured national attention.

The year started with police reporting they had captured a man suspected of robbing Rite Aid Pharmacy in Ossipee. David Hall of Center Ossipee was charged with the Dec. 29 robbery after he was arrested, with the help of police dogs, on Dec. 31, 2010 following a three-hour chase in the snow. Hall's image from the store's surveillance camera was broadcast in area newspapers and television channels, leading police to Hall.

Unfortunately, pharmacy robberies have become more common in recent years. In fact, the Ossipee Rite Aid has been robbed at least three times as thieves bypass the cash register and head straight for the prescription drugs.

Forward to April and millions of news readers and television viewers were about to learn of a place called Ossipee. It was April 23 when a small black sedan was discovered in a snowstorm with the engine running in the parking lot at Cranmore Mountain in North Conway at 6:30 a.m. with the driver nowhere to be found. But it was the 14-month-old girl unharmed and strapped in her child seat in the car that captured national attention. Media from around the nation converged on the area. For days police investigated and the family pled for the public's help in finding the mother of that child, 20-year-old Portland, Maine mother Krista Dittmeyer. NH Assistant Attorney General Jane Young held regular press conferences to quench the public's thirst for answers. Days later Dittmeyer's body was found in a snowmaking pond at the resort.

Many in Ossipee were shocked as police announced that two Ossipee men and a Tamworth man were arrested for the crime. Prosecutors allege that Anthony Papile and Michael Petelis of Ossipee and Trevor Ferguson of Tamworth all were involved in the murder of Dittmeyer for the purpose of stealing drugs and money. They have alleged in court documents that she was lured to Petelis' house in Ossipee where she was ambushed and hit on the head with a rubber mallet by Papile then duct taped and put in the trunk of her car then disposed of at Cranmore. Papile is charged with second degree murder and remains in jail with no bail. Petelis and Ferguson are charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and are each being held on $250,000 cash bail. As of press time, none of the men have been formally indicted by a grand jury and all have waived probable cause hearings.

On into summer and citizens in the area were on high alert and firefighters worked hard for their on-call pay and their mutual aid assistance to neighboring towns was invaluable as they were called to a string of suspicious fires in Madison, Eaton and Freedom. The fires started as brush fires in the Ossipee Pine Barrens and on the Purity Springs Resort property in Madison. Then it was the buildings.

On June 21 there was the massive blaze at 192 Mooney Hill Road in Madison just after midnight where two large post and beam barns burned and several animals were killed. When the fire chief first arrived he said it seemed unlikely they would be able to save the house. Firefighters who were on that scene are being heralded for their extraordinary efforts in saving the house that was just 30 feet away from one of the barns.

On June 22 a storage shed at Purity Springs Resort was burned in another suspicious fire. Then on June 27 fire crews had to battle two large fires simultaneously, one in Eaton and the other in Freedom. The first fire, called in just after midnight destroyed a barn and part of a home in Eaton. About 40 minutes into fighting the fire, with several mutual aid departments committed to the scene, including Freedom Fire Department, a call went out for a house fire in Freedom. That fire destroyed a summer home owned by the family of a Freedom selectman. An 18-year-old former Madison Fire Department member, John Colcord, has been formally charged with setting the fire in Eaton. He is out on bail with an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Forward to December and Ossipee was once again in the New England news spotlight when a jail inmate being held on several burglary charges climbed up on a roof and over the razor wire fence surrounding the county jail's recreation yard. David Hobson remained in the loose for six days, was recaptured, and is being held in state prison awaiting court dates to answer to his burglary, and now escape, charges.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
Thanks for visiting SalmonPress.com