NEWRY, Maine – Awas a suspect and would have been charged in a sexual assault case, according to new information from police.
Authorities said Johnston did not leave any sort of suicide note, but texted someone an emoji of hands praying.
Johnston worked as a meteorologist at WCSH.
According to Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant, a woman went to a local hospital and reported being raped at a Newry residence in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 2.
“Our investigation shows that Johnston was at the residence and was identified during the commission of the sexual assault,” said Gallant. “Johnston left the residence before deputies arrived on scene and was later reported as a missing person.”
Gallant told reporters that “the one and only suspect who was identified through victim and witness’s information, was Thomas Johnston.”
Gallant said that if he were alive, Johnston would have faced a charge of gross sexual assault.
WCSH issued a statement Thursday afternoon.
“We are disturbed to learn this troubling information. We began covering Tom’s disappearance in early April. During today’s Oxford County Sheriff’s Office’s news conference, we learned for the first time with everyone else that Tom would have been charged in a Class B gross sexual assault that happened on April 1, if he was still alive. We share in the community’s shock and our thoughts are with the victim and the families involved,” President and General Manager Brian Cliffe said.
The investigation is now closed, Gallant said.