Home News Body found alongside Maine river ID’d as missing man Erik Foote

Body found alongside Maine river ID’d as missing man Erik Foote


A body found alongside the Aroostook River is that of Erik Foote, a Maine man whose disappearance nabbed widespread attention after a police officer was criminally charged for falsifying records related to the case.

Foote, a U.S. Army veteran, was last seen walking along a road in Washburn on Jan. 30. His family reported him missing a few days later.

His disappearance rocked Washburn, a small town of about 1,500, where Foote had recently moved to live with his parents.

According to WAGM, the last person known to have interacted with Foote was former Washburn police sergeant Chandler Cole.

While he was still an officer, Cole reported picking up Foote and dropping him off at a Presque Isle hospital, a claim he repeated to the missing man’s father in February. But the hospital denied Cole’s claims, and surveillance footage later revealed the ex-sergeant actually dropped Foote off at a gas station.

This photo provided by WAGM-TV, Chandler Cole is interviewed on Feb. 23, 2022 iin Washburn, Maine. Police say Cole accused of lying about a missing person case has been charged with several crimes, including falsifying a report in which he claimed he had taken the missing man to a hospital. (WAGM-TV via AP)
This photo provided by WAGM-TV, Chandler Cole is interviewed on Feb. 23, 2022 iin Washburn, Maine. Police say Cole accused of lying about a missing person case has been charged with several crimes, including falsifying a report in which he claimed he had taken the missing man to a hospital. (WAGM-TV via AP)

Cole resigned in February. He was arrested the following month and charged with aggravated forgery, tampering with public records or information, falsifying physical evidence and unsworn falsification. He remains free on $2,500 bail.

On Thursday, Maine State Police confirmed that a body found earlier this week on the bank of Aroostook River in Caribou belonged to Foote. His cause of death is still pending.

His mother, Brenda Foote, told The County that her son served in the U.S. Army in Korea and Iraq and that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression upon his return from overseas. She also said he was experiencing health issues, but did not provide further details.

“He would give up his coat or last dollar for anyone in need and did so many times,”  she said. “He … called everyone his friend.”



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