LITCHFIELD —  A Litchfield man was arrested early Wednesday morning after a manhunt following a lengthy standoff Tuesday after a woman texted 911 saying she was in distress.

Joshua Tilley, 36, is charged with domestic violence assault and kidnapping. He was taken to Kennebec County Jail, according to the department of Public Safety spokesperson Steve McCausland. The woman was found safe by police Tuesday afternoon.

The woman was found safe, but police presence grew at the intersection of Dead River and South Adams roads throughout Tuesday afternoon. The blockade started around 11 a.m.

During their investigation late Monday into Tuesday, Maine State Police officers followed pings of the cell phone the woman used to send the message to a property at 746 Dead River Road.

As of 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, about a dozen police vehicles blocked the road, set up spike strips and dispatched a negotiation team to assist with making contact with Tilley. The property at Dead River Road, according to State Police Lt. Pat Hood, reportedly is owned by Tilley’s parents.

Around 9 p.m., Tilley fled the scene. Hood said during a statement late Tuesday night that Tilley eluded police and was on foot in the woods.

“He is out in the woods somewhere at this point now,” he said. “He’s not dangerous to her but he may be desperate.”

Officers made contact with the woman around 3 p.m. Tuesday after she was brought to the scene by a Veterans Administration vehicle. Police photographed her, she issued a statement and paramedics from Gardiner evaluated her.

The incident was initially reported as a kidnapping, according to emergency dispatch reports. However, McCausland said Tuesday afternoon that “there is no active kidnapping.”

Hood said that though one nearby house had been evacuated.

Tilley was arrested with the help of Sagadahoc Sheriff’s Office and their police dog, according to McCausland.


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