LEWISTON — After months of searching for 22-year-old Christiana Fesmire, who disappeared in July, her family members and friends got the call Friday they had feared most, according to a relative of Fesmire.

They learned that police on Thursday night had arrested Buddy Robinson, 30, of Lewiston, and charged him with murder.

Police believe Buddy Robinson drowned Fesmire after she hit her head on the bathtub while the two were arguing in her Highland Avenue apartment July 1, then wrapped her body in a blanket and dumped her in a swamp, according to an affidavit released Friday.

Jessica Blackburn, Fesmire’s aunt, said the family is devastated by the news of the arrest and alleged slaying.

“You always hold out that glimmer of hope that you know she’s just going to come home safe and now that’s gone,” Blackburn said Friday from her home in Furlong, Pa.

Family and friends of Fesmire had been searching for her since she didn’t show up for a Fourth of July family get-together in Rangeley. They sent out hundreds of missing person flyers nationwide, waiting by the phone and computer for a miracle, Blackburn said.

Instead, family members received the call Friday from police telling them about the arrest, she said.

Police arrested Robinson late Thursday night at the home of his girlfriend in New Gloucester. He is charged with the death of Fesmire, who disappeared July 1, and whose body has not been recovered, according to Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

“It’s just devastating and at this point they haven’t found the body and that makes it hurt even more,” Blackburn said.

“We really would like to bring her home so we can put her at rest,” Blackburn said.

Family and friends are gathering in Bremen where Fesmire’s mother, father, sister and grandmother live, according to Blackburn, 47. Other family members live in Rangeley and her two brothers live in Pennsylvania.

Deborah Fesmire, Christiana Fesmire’s mother, declined to comment Friday.

“It’s a really tough time for us right now,” she said.

Blackburn plans to drive up next week and didn’t know when services will be held. She described her niece as a generous, outgoing young woman.

“Christiana was a beautiful girl and full of life and he just took that from her and from us. She’s going to be missed deeply and I hope that justice is going to be done,” Blackburn said.

Robinson made his first court appearance Friday afternoon in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Lewiston. Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, with his wrists and ankles shackled, Robinson didn’t speak during the brief hearing.

Robinson did not enter a plea on the charge and the only court action taken was to schedule his next court date. He is being held in Androscoggin County jail without bail until his arraignment Nov. 10 in the Superior Court in Lewiston.

Deputy Attorney General William Stokes is prosecuting the case. After the hearing, Stokes said the case will go before an Androscoggin County grand jury on Nov. 9. The grand jury will decide whether to indict Robinson on the murder charge.

An indictment is needed before a trial can proceed, Stokes said.

Stokes declined to discuss details about the case, saying court documents address a lot of the details.

Maine State Police Detective Herbert Leighton outlined the slaying in a sworn affidavit, which was used to secure the arrest warrant for Robinson.

The following is a summary of Leighton’s statements in the affidavit about a series of police interviews and investigations into the disappearance of Fesmire:

A Lewiston police detective interviewed Buddy Robinson’s sister, Brandi Robinson, 30, on two consecutive days in August. The siblings, along with Brandi Robinson’s 8-year-old son and boyfriend, Levi Gervais, lived above Fesmire in a two-story apartment building at 36 Highland Ave. in Lewiston.

During the interviews, Brandi Robinson admitted that she ran an escort business. She said Fesmire was one of her two prostitutes and the other was a woman named Alanda from Canada.

Lewiston police detectives checked the website Backpage.com and found photos resembling Fesmire and Alanda used to solicit prostitution, according to the affidavit. The woman known as Alanda was later identified by detectives as Alanda Godbout, 32, of New Brunswick.

In September, detectives interviewed Buddy Robinson. He said he didn’t have a sexual relationship with Fesmire and admitted being on parole for harassing an ex-girlfriend.

Buddy Robinson was convicted of stalking in 2010 in District Court in Presque Isle, according to the affidavit. He was employed by ACS, Inc. in Lewiston and told detectives that he was an active member of the armed services and served in Afghanistan.

On Sept. 13 detectives searched the Highland Avenue apartment building. No one lived there at the time of the search.

Detectives found blood stains splattered in several areas in the downstairs apartment where Fesmire had lived. The DNA samples from the blood matched samples taken from Fesmire’s mother and other evidence, the affidavit states.   

On Thursday, Brandi Robinson went to the Lewiston Police Department told detectives about Fesmire’s killing, the affidavit says. She said Buddy Robinson admitted to her that Fesmire hit her head on the bathtub while they argued at the Highland Avenue apartment on July 1.

Brandi Robinson told detectives that her brother admitted that after Fesmire hit her head, he drowned her in the bathtub, wrapping her body up in a blanket and putting in the trunk of a car parked in the garage.

Buddy Robinson then disposed of Fesmire’s body in a location described in the affidavit as a swampy area. Brandi Robinson told detectives that she tried numerous times to convince her brother to tell police about the slaying, which he refused to do, the affidavit states.

David Robinson — 861-9287
[email protected]

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