AUBURN — Nothing about the slaying of Romeo Parent was simple.

In early April, police began to hear rumblings that harm may have come to the 20-year-old Lewiston man. For days, they searched, following up leads and questioning potential witnesses.

On April 12, a Maine State Police diver descended into the frigid waters of Jug Stream in Monmouth, where the body of Parent was found. He had been stripped down to his boxer shorts, and his hands and feet had been bound with fabric.

Police would later say that Parent had been stabbed with a screwdriver and strangled with wire after he was lured by a friend into the woods. When Parent didn’t die quickly enough, police said, 23-year-old Michael McNaughton of Lewiston went back six times to strangle him.

The motive? Police say McNaughton and the others believed Parent was an informant who had “ratted them out” on earlier crimes.

McNaughton was one of four local men charged in the killing. One by one, police picked up their suspects, tracking one to a Massachusetts carnival, where he had taken work.

Charged with murder were McNaughton and 24-year-old Nathan Morton of Greene. Police said those two men knew from the get-go that Parent would be killed as they lured him into the wilderness.

Charged with helping to cover up the crime were William True, 19, and Sebastian Moody, 22, both of Lewiston. Moody has since entered a plea arrangement, admitting to the charge of falsifying evidence. Police say he is cooperating with the investigation. Moody will be sentenced in May.

The others will begin going to trial in January.

[email protected]

Revisiting the top stories of 2013

The Sun Journal staff writers and photographers have updated the top stories in our communities.