Robert and Patti Eger Photo courtesy of Linda Walker

Patti Eger always had a smile on her face and would give anyone a hug. She was the friend who reminded you to get home safe and would call to make sure you were doing OK.

If you went to her house, you could be sure she was going to feed you.

“She would do anything for anyone,” said Linda Walker, of Bowdoin, a friend of Eger’s for more than 20 years.

Eger and her husband, Robert ‘Bob’ Eger, were shot to death at their home at 1459 Augusta Road in Bowdoin on Tuesday, along with Cynthia and David Eaton of Florida.

The Eatons’ son, Joseph Eaton, has been charged with murder in the four deaths, and police also have connected him to the shooting of three people on Interstate 295 later Tuesday.

“These were very good people,” Walker, 74, said of the Egers. “They didn’t deserve to die. This has left their son and daughter-in-law without parents.”


Joseph Eaton had just been released Friday from the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, where he had been serving a sentence for aggravated assault, police said Wednesday. His mother met him at the prison and brought him to Bowdoin to stay with the Egers, who were family friends.

David and Cynthia Eaton Facebook photo

Walker didn’t know the Eatons personally, but said they have been friends with the Egers for a long time. She said the Eatons came to Maine from Florida to get their son out of prison, though she didn’t know what led to the shootings.

A woman who answered the phone at a residence in Florida believed to belong to Cynthia Eaton’s parents declined to talk about the shooting Wednesday, but said, “My daughter is dead and there’s nothing we can do about that.”

“My daughter was a good person,” she said.


Walker said she met Patti Eger about 20 years ago through a scrapbooking group that gathers a few times per month. She said they became instant best friends. Bob was a “good guy” who “would give you the shirt off his back,” Walker said.


She said the couple’s son – Robert, like his father – lives out of state. Bob Eger owned his own business in the construction industry, Walker said, while Patti Eger was a stay-at-home mother who also cared for her elderly father. “They’re just very involved with their family and people they know,” Walker said.

Patti Eger with her dog, Max, who also was shot and killed. Photo courtesy of Linda Walker

About nine months ago, Walker said, Patti and Bob Eger got a goldendoodle, Max.

“She was so excited,” Walker said, remembering when Patti Eger brought Max home. “It was like having another child. She would take him to doggy daycare so he had friends to play with. She loved that dog.”

State police confirmed that Max also was killed in the shooting.

Walker was disturbed by a video Joseph Eaton posted on Facebook Monday in which he cries as he talks about how people “claim to be Christian and can’t forgive somebody or understand what they go through.”

Patti Eger attended the West Bowdoin Baptist Church, and her faith was very important to her, Walker said. “Patti and Bob and Cindy and Dave were very Christian, so I feel like he was talking about them,” Walker said.


Craig Tuck, the pastor of the West Bowdoin Baptist Church, called Patti Eger a “very dear friend” Wednesday. He said she lived her faith through such acts as volunteering with Lisbon Area Christian Outreach.

Tuck has been on the phone with members of the congregation, and says they are shocked and saddened about the loss of their friend. He said that he’d also talked to the Egers’ son, who is on his way to Maine from Texas.

“Her joy, her spirit, was just evident everywhere. She was a wonderful, wonderful person,” Tuck said of Patti Eger. “She loved our family very much.”

Staff Writer Megan Gray contributed to this report.

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