Amber Cobb, the Fairfield woman who drowned in the Kennebec River last week, was a mother to three young children who struggled to care for them as a single parent, her siblings said on Monday.

“I think she spent most of her time with her kids, trying to care for them and raise them the best that she could despite difficult circumstances,” said Joshua Cobb, her older brother.

Amber Cobb drowned in the Kennebec River last Tuesday, but police have said little since then about the circumstances surrounding her death.

Police also won’t confirm whether anyone was with her, though a man and young child were seen at the scene, climbing on the bank near where she was found and talking to police. The man and child have not been publicly identified, and police won’t say if the child is Amber’s youngest, Payton, 2. She was also mother to Chase, 7, and Raven, 5.

“There are no new developments in the case although we still continue to seek answers,” Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said Monday. McCausland offered no details about where Cobb went in the water or what may have happened. He would not comment on whether her death is considered suspicious.

Amber Cobb’s brother, who lives in Iowa, and half-sister, Chelsea Cobb, of Troy, said Monday that they also know little about what happened to her.


“The details are sketchy still,” Joshua Cobb, 33, said. “I don’t know what the exact circumstances were or why she ended up in the water.”

The day of the drowning, Chelsea Cobb posted on Facebook that her sister had died while trying to save her youngest daughter from being swept away by a strong current, but on Monday the siblings said they could not comment on whether that was what happened.

Police, firefighters and game wardens performed life-saving measures on Cobb when they found her in an area of the river not far from the apartment complex where she lived, the Fairfield Family Apartments on U.S. Route 201. She had been in the water for at least half an hour when she was pulled from the river at the in-town boat landing in Fairfield.

“I haven’t visited the location myself, but I understand it’s right by their house and it’s a common place to go walking by the river,” Joshua Cobb said. “It seems like it would be a nice place to walk on a sunny afternoon.”

In the week since she died, the siblings have been left wondering what happened to the little girl with long brown hair that they grew up with. Amber and Joshua are full siblings, while Chelsea, who is three years younger than Amber, has a different father.

For most of their childhood, the three lived together in a three-bedroom house in Albion on the edge of the woods and hiked, explored and built tepees, Joshua Cobb said.


“She was well-loved. She was loved by everyone she came in touch with,” he said of his sister.

Amber Cobb graduated from Waterville Senior High School in 2001. At her apartment in Fairfield, she planted flowers along her walkway since she didn’t have the space for a full-sized garden. She loved her kids and enjoyed going for walks with them. She had recently started attending the Church of the Nazarene in Fairfield.

“She lived a simple peaceful life,” Joshua Cobb said.

She was also close to her mother, Janet Moxcey, of Troy, he said, explaining that like their mother, Amber was raising three children as a single parent.

“They were very close in a lot of ways, especially after Amber had children. They don’t come with instruction manuals. The first place you always default to is your mother, so she would go to mom with questions on how to raise kids,” Joshua Cobb said.

The three children have been staying with a neighbor since Amber Cobb’s death.


“They’re a little shaken up,” Chelsea Cobb said. “Raven, who is very smart, got it right away. Chase, the oldest was like, ‘I’m going to be a brave, big boy, but I’m upset because Daddy’s crying’ and Payton is just too young to comprehend much.”

Amber Cobb had a cordial relationship with two fathers of her children, according to Joshua Cobb.

Joshua Cobb said he wasn’t sure who was with his sister, but said that she almost always had Payton with her during the day.

“I don’t know if she was there at the time of the accident, but I know the two-year-old was home the day of the accident,” Joshua Cobb said. “If Amber goes anywhere, she would have left her with a babysitter or something or taken her with her. I think they would walk that region frequently.”

The older two children were in school last Tuesday, and their father contacted Chelsea Cobb and her mother to let them know the kids had been taken out of school that day. The family is planning a memorial service for Friday.

“She had a lot of friends,” Chelsea Cobb said. “She would always help them out whenever they needed it. She knew a few people who had just come out of a homeless shelter, and she would give them her shoes because they needed it and she had several others.”


“That was definitely her personality,” her brother agreed. “She didn’t have a lot of resources, but what she did have she was willing to give to someone she felt needed it more. When you live in Maine, in a small community, that type of generosity is important. It’s something Amber always kept and something she tried to pass on to her children.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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