A Florida man has been charged with murder in the gruesome slaying of a Maine woman whose body was found in the woods off Highway 19 in Pasco County, Florida, this month.

Police said Timothy Frederick Johnson, 25, of New Port Richey, killed Judith Therianos while the two were having sex and then continued to have sex with her dead body. Therianos, 52, of Alfred, had been in Florida for about a month visiting friends before she disappeared. Her body was found on April 7, posed in a suggestive position. It was badly decomposed but identifiable through fingerprints.

The graphic details of her killing were laid out in an arrest affidavit released by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office on Friday– the same day they charged Johnson.

“This is a pretty sick individual that would perform these acts on a deceased person,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a news conference Friday afternoon.

Richard Bowie, director of operations for the Down East Emergency Medicine Institute, a volunteer search-and-rescue group based in Orono that helped search for Therianos’ body, has been asked by her family to act as a spokesman.

Bowie said Friday’s news was extremely difficult for the family, especially her three children and her sister, Jennifer Scammon.

‘THE WRONG GUY’

“She was a free spirit. Very trusting,” Bowie said. “She just met the wrong guy at the wrong time. It’s terrible.”

Based on their investigation, Florida police believe Johnson and Therianos met on the evening of March 13 when they were seen buying alcohol together at a store in New Port Richey, a coastal town northwest of Tampa.

According to the arrest affidavit, Johnson and Therianos began having consensual sex in a wooded lot off Highway 19. At some point, Therianos asked him to stop but he didn’t. Instead, he choked her until she passed out and then continued having sex with her. After he finished, he pulled her shirt over her head and “bashed her brains in,” the affidavit said.

Johnson then took Therianos’ debit card and went to a nearby Waffle House to eat. After that, he stopped at a liquor store, bought a four-pack of beer with her debit card and returned to where Therianos’ dead body lay and had sex with her again, police said.

Johnson left and returned a third time, this time with rubbing alcohol, which he poured on her to remove any evidence.

On March 23, 10 days after the killing, Johnson was arrested on unrelated charges of violating probation. While in jail, he told two inmates that he killed Therianos.

When Johnson made the disclosure to his fellow inmates, Therianos’ body had not yet been found. Her remains were discovered on April 7 by a woman who was out looking for bottles and cans. Johnson told the inmates she was his victim and threatened to kill one of the inmates if he told anyone, the affidavit says.

Johnson remains at the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center. When police interviewed him about Therianos’ death, he initially denied knowing her. He then admitted to drinking with her and having consensual sex, police said.

Sheriff Nocco said that, because of the gruesome and cold-blooded nature of Therianos’ killing, police are looking into whether Johnson may have been involved in other crimes. He was arrested last year for battery, according to records published in a local newspaper, but there were no other details.

Therianos grew up in Maine and graduated from Massabesic High School in Waterboro in 1981.

FAMILY STATEMENT

In February, she drove with a friend, Glenda Cook, from Maine to Florida. The two planned to visit with and care for an ailing friend. When Cook returned home, Therianos stayed behind to visit other friends in the area and told family members she would be home by Easter.

Friends and family had been concerned about Therianos since early March. They said she had been spending time with an older man named Charlie before her disappearance. Friends also had seen her with a black eye, although she said it was from a fall. Sheriff Nocco said the man identified as Charlie was not involved in her death.

Family members declined to speak Friday but provided a statement.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in the search, investigation, and subsequent arrest in the case of Judi Therianos,” it said. “We also want to express our heartfelt thanks to DEEMI and to all of the volunteers that assisted in the search from passing out fliers, to sharing the Find Judi Facebook page, to sending your thoughts and prayers.

“While this is not the outcome we had hoped for, we are grateful to have Justice for Judi. She will remain forever in our hearts.”