GARDINER — Maine State Police have identified the man who shot himself Thursday following a traffic stop on Timberwood Drive in Gardiner as Gyrth Rutan, 34, of Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

The person found dead in the trunk of the vehicle — a woman — was not identified.

The death of the woman is still under investigation and state police are referring information about her death to the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts, state police spokesman Stephen McCausland said in a Friday news release. The woman’s death did not occur in Maine, he said.

A blue Subaru with Massachusetts plates that Rutan was driving was pursued by police after they received a report of erratic driving on Interstate 295. Police pulled Rutan over at 4:45 p.m. on Timberwood Drive, a residential development, according to a Thursday press release from state police.

“The trooper spotted the car on the interstate and then followed it along Route 201 until it turned onto Timberwood (Drive) ,which is when he stopped the car,” McCausland said in the Friday release. “The trooper reported that Rutan got out of his car armed with a shotgun and turned the gun on himself.”

McCausland said an autopsy at the State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Rutan died by suicide.

The car was taken away from the scene by a state police wrecker shortly before 8 p.m. Gardiner Fire Department arrived around 9 p.m. to clean up the scene.

McCausland said it was unclear why Rutan drove to Maine but said his Facebook page “indicates that he grew up in Brewer.”

A public records database report associated Rutan’s name with six addresses: one each in Bangor, Holden, Brewer, and Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and two in Dedham.

Rutan does not have a criminal record in Maine nor Massachusetts, according to a public records database.

His Facebook page lists him as a former employee of Bangor’s Parks and Recreation Department. A Connecticut-based labor union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Missouri-based Par Electrical Contractors with branches in Massachusetts, are listed as employers.

Kennebec Journal staff writer Charlie Eichacker contributed to this report.


State Police Major Brian Scott, left, confers Thursday with Lt. Col. William Harwood at an incident on Timberwood Drive in Gardiner. (Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal)

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