ORONO – Since Mother’s Day, hundreds of people in this close-knit rural community outside Bangor had been searching for 15-year-old Nichole Cable, fighting fear with the hope that the missing girl would eventually be found.
Their fear turned to anguish Tuesday when Maine State Police announced they had charged a 20-year-old Orono man with her murder.
Kyle Dube’s arrest came a day after a game warden with a search dog found the remains of a female believed to be Cable, in woods along the Stillwater River, just off Route 43 in Old Town.
Dube, who has been in the Penobscot County Jail since Friday on an unrelated charge, is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Wednesday on a murder charge.
Cable’s disappearance and death shook this community and nearby Old Town, where she attended high school.
“This has just devastated our community,” Tim Munson, a longtime friend of Cable’s family, said as he replenished the candles at a shrine for the girl at the base of the dirt road where she lived. “She was a very, very smart, outgoing young lady.”
Munson said he was pleased that police made such a swift arrest because it removed some of the fear from the community.
State police Lt. Chris Coleman announced the charges against Dube at a news conference Tuesday in Bangor.
Police released no details about how or why Cable was killed, but said the answers to many questions will be revealed Wednesday morning when a police affidavit showing probable cause to arrest Dube is expected to be released by the court.
Police did not say when Cable died. Dube had turned himself in to the Penobscot County Jail on Friday to begin serving a 90-day sentence on charges stemming from a high-speed chase last year in which the motorcycle he was riding collided with a police cruiser.
Sentenced on May 10, he was given a week of freedom before he had to report to jail. Cable was last seen on Route 221 in Glenburn at 9 p.m. on May 12.
Tyler-Ann Harris, who said she was Cable’s best friend, said Dube got together with Cable several times before she disappeared, and they knew each other for about a month and a half.
“She said he wanted to hang out before he went to jail,” said Harris, who attended Tuesday’s news conference.
One question that persists is the role that social media may have played in Cable’s death.
The “missing” posters that were distributed throughout the Bangor area in the days after her disappearance said the family believed that Cable had been lured from her home by a stranger posing as someone else on Facebook.
Police would not say whether Cable planned to meet in person with someone she had met on Facebook.
Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross would not say whether social media may have been a factor in the killing, but he encouraged parents to monitor their children’s contacts online and exercise caution.
Harris said she couldn’t fathom why, if Dube used Facebook to contact Cable, he would have pretended to be someone else, since Cable already knew him and was fond of him.
Jason Wiley, Cable’s stepfather, said the family wants the tragedy of her death to help educate other parents “so no other family has to go through this.”
He said family members will discuss the case at length once they have confirmed the details of her death with the state medical examiner and police.
The family has been in touch with the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and hopes to set up a fund to provide assistance to families who need help printing posters and spreading the word when a loved one disappears, Wiley said.
The family also wants to explore ways of using technology to keep kids safe, like microchip technology that could be used to track someone who is abducted, he said.
Police apparently identified Dube as a suspect during the weekend, spending all day Sunday at the home at 5 Maplewood Ave. in Orono, where Dube lived with his parents and sibling, according to neighbors. Police also seized a black Ford Ranger that is connected to the case, Coleman said.
Neighbors described Dube as a pleasant, helpful young man who frequently worked on cars in his driveway. Tim Hackett, who lives across the street, said Dube’s parents are kind and generous people.
Harris, Cable’s friend, said she was stunned by the news that Dube is accused of killing Cable, saying the two had a romantic relationship at one point.
“They had a thing a while ago, but because of (Dube’s) daughter (it stopped). I think he had a girlfriend,” Harris said. “He would run to (Cable’s) rescue if he needed to. I would never have thought he would have actually hurt her.”
Harris said she has never met Dube and knew of him only through the description given by Cable and another friend.
She said Cable was a cheerful girl and a good friend.
“She was really happy even though she went through a lot of hard stuff in life,” Harris said. “She didn’t always get along with everybody — she had an attitude — but she was a teenage girl.”
At one point, Cable lived with Harris after moving out of her father’s house, Harris said. More recently, she lived at her mother’s house in Glenburn with three siblings.
Cable stayed with Harris and her mother on May 10, two days before she disappeared. Harris said she planned to go out with Cable and Dube that night, but didn’t.
On Tuesday, a steady stream of police vehicles came and went from the site where the remains were found. A state police crime scene van was parked on a road to the dam that spans the Stillwater River there.
Police blocked off the crime scene, but by 6 p.m. the scene had been cleaned up and no police tape was in sight.
The state Medical Examiner’s Office was expected to examine the body Tuesday to confirm it is Cable’s, and to determine the cause of death.
Harris said the past 10 days have been painful as Cable’s friends and family have waited for word about her. She said the discovery of the body brings some measure of peace, because at least she knows her friend isn’t suffering.
Munson said the death of such a cheerful young girl has saddened the community, but Glenburn is tight-knit and its people will pull together.
He said that was evident during the searches in which hundreds of volunteers lined the roads. A warden who helped organize the searches said they were among the largest in which he has ever participated.
“That’s Glenburn,” he said. “That’s why we’re here.”
Munson stood quietly before the makeshift shrine, decorated with flowers, candles, teddy bears and a large white board with Cable’s “missing” poster and inscriptions from friends on it.
“There’s been a lot of parents giving our little ones a few more hugs,” Munson said as his 4-year-old daughter, Shelby, squeezed his hand.
David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: