BELGRADE —When Pamela Butler turned the key and opened the door of her cabin on Hoyt Island earlier this month, she felt utter disbelief.

The home at 30 Hoyt Island was torn up and had been rifled through, she said, with firefighting foam spread in each room and the water system sabotaged. An expensive part was missing.

“I have owned this cabin since 1981, and not once anything of this sort has happened,” said Butler, 79. “I just couldn’t believe it. And then, of course, I felt a little angry.”

The retired professor, who lives in Philadelphia and spends most of her summers on the island in Great Pond, had traveled up with two friends on June 1 to clean and prepare the seasonal residence for the long summer days ahead.

After discovering the state of the cabin, around 6 p.m., she immediately called state police. The trooper who responded found two other nearby properties that had been similarly broken into and damaged.

Weeks later, authorities, and Butler, are still looking for answers about who is responsible, and whether they will be held to account.


Officials said that even though they have compiled evidence from the scene, they have not yet found any leads. The state police, which is leading the investigation, believes the incidents took place weeks before they discovered the damage.

Elsewhere in the neighborhood, a cabin at 28 Hoyt Island owned by Joe DeSisto had a broken window and a damaged water pump. Karl Lynch, a resident of No. 29, reported a fire extinguisher discharged on the entire deck outside his cabin.

“We conjectured for a while wondering if it could be kids on snow bikes, but the truth is we will never know,” said Butler.

Butler and her friends arranged temporary accommodation elsewhere and traveled to the cabin for the next four days to clean it up.

“It was such a relief that I had my friends with me,” said Butler.

She said she also contacted the Augusta Fire Department, looking for advice on how to clean the remnants of a discharged fire extinguisher.

“They told us to wear a mask and to use one of those strong vacuums and keep doing until it was clean and then use water. It was helpful,” she added.

Despite the unpleasant experience and lack of answers, Butler, who had traveled back to Pennsylvania, said she is already looking forward to returning.

“I am coming back next week,” she said. “I don’t care; it is my camp, and I am coming.”

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