David Mailhot, a director at Albert & Burpee Funeral Home, speaks Saturday at the business in Lewiston. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

LEWISTON — Marcus Talarico, nearly teary-eyed, recalled a phone call Wednesday night around midnight he received from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. 

Talarico has lived in Lewiston his whole life and works as a licensed funeral attendant and administrative assistant at Albert & Burpee Funeral Home in the city. 

Before he received the call at midnight, he knew something was wrong because he saw a “cop and another cop, and another cop,” and trucks with their hazard lights on.  

The call at midnight from the chief medical examiner was brief and gave little details as to what was happening. Then they called back at 5 a.m. on Thursday. 

“They (the chief medical office) asked us, ‘What kind of availability do you have? What kind of manpower do you have? What vehicles are available to assist in transporting?’” Talarico recalled. 

On Wednesday night, a few hours after Talarico received the first call, Robert Card II killed 18 people at Just-in-Time Recreation and at Schemengees Bar & Grille.  


Card led law enforcement on a manhunt in the Lewiston area until two days later on Friday night when he was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a Lisbon Falls recycling center trailer. 

While Maine and the Lewiston community started to process Wednesday’s events, Talarico and his co-worker, David Mailhot, director of Albert & Burpee Funeral Home, had to stay strong and lend their help to the community they have called home their whole lives. 

The medical examiner asked the funeral home to assist in transporting the 18 bodies around 30 miles from Lewiston to Augusta for autopsies. The funeral home is around 2 miles away from the bar and bowling alley. 

“I’ve been in funeral service for two decades, and Marcus has been in it a long time, too, and we have the same feeling that we never thought we would experience something like this … We know people personally involved in this and it’s a lot to take in.” 

Even though the funeral home employees are surrounded by death, they were a part of the situation too. 

Talarico’s friend was bowling at Just-in-Time Recreation and he did not hear from him until 2 p.m. on Thursday. His friend is OK, but Talarico said he wanted to “break down.” 


Mailhot lives in Lisbon and heard the helicopters circle the area outside of his bedroom. On Monday nights, he plays darts at Schemengees Bar. 

“It’s emotional and cliché, but these are things you see on TV and now we are in the middle of it,” Mailhot said. “It doesn’t seem real.” 

Mailhot and Talarico spoke on the need to “stay strong” for themselves and everyone around them who needs their services — not only the victims and their families, but for the other deaths in the area. 

But they know they will get through it, because after all, Lewiston has before. 

“Lewiston has had other events in our past — whether it was the fires, we had hate groups come to Lewiston. Lewiston always comes together and it won’t be any different. We are all going to come together and be there for one another and we will get through it,” Talarico said.

Comments are not available on this story.