On 10/08/2020 at 1744 hours the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office took a report of two males walking on the Bemis Road in Rangeley Plantation that fit the description of Steven Petersen and Shawn Batchelder who are the two fugitives the Sheriff’s Office has been looking for.   A local man and woman were driving south on the Bemis road when Batchelder and Petersen flagged them down.  They asked for help, the couple recognized the two as the fugitives. They drove off and called Franklin County Dispatch to advise of the sighting.  Deputy Couture, Deputy Gray and Chief Deputy Lowell from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office alongside with Rangeley Police, members of the Border Patrol and the Maine Warden Service responded to the area of the sighting.

Steven Petersen

Shawn Batchelder











At 1924 hours a separate home owner who lives on the Bemis Road, called dispatch to advise that the two males were inside their garage and they (Bachelder and Petersen) were trying to make a phone call to someone in Portland.  All agencies responded quickly to the residence and found Bachelder and Peterson in the garage who were placed under arrest without incident.  They were initially evaluated by North Star at the scene of the arrest before being transported to the Franklin Memorial Hospital for a more detailed medical evaluation, both were dirty and in need of food.  Once medically cleared both males were transported to the Franklin County Jail without incident.

The Sheriff’s Office with the help of the State Police, Border Patrol, Warden Service and an investigator from the Dept. of Corrections have been conducting organized searches in and around the Rangeley Plantation area and Letter D twp. since September 18th.  There had been many false sightings, the last large search was conducted on September 25th checking camps along various ponds in the Letter D Township area.  Once those leads were exhausted the Sheriff’s Office maintained increased patrol in the area to follow up upon any leads.  We were quite surprised to find that they had actually been living in the woods the entire time. We are happy that this matter has come to a peaceful conclusion, and that local residents can rest easy knowing that these two are no longer in the area.


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