NEWRY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – NEWS CENTER has been investigating rumors about Tom Johnston’s involvement in a sexual assault since we first caught wind of it on social media the Sunday after his body was found.
The Oxford County Sheriff's office refused to say anything about the case except that it had received a report and was investigating.
In numerous conversations, Sheriff Gallant steadfastly refused to name any suspect in the assault, and would not even confirm that a crime had actually been committed.
Since NEWS CENTER reports facts, and not rumors, there was nothing that we could report – but we have spent weeks trying to track Tom's whereabouts, asking friends, family, and people who live and work in the area if they knew anything about what happened that weekend.
Here is what we found:
Saturday, April 1
- Morning : Tom Johnson left his house in Old Orchard Beach, headed to Sunday River Ski resort.
- 2 PM: Tom judges a margarita contest for "SpringFest" at the base lodge.
- 3:12 PM: He sends us a video from the contest to use for snow coverage in our 6 PM newscast.
- 4 PM: We know he stopped at the Matterhorn for a drink shortly after, and chatted with the owner.
- 7:30 PM: A Sunday River employee says Tom came into the Camp Restaurant at the Summit Hotel looking for dinner. They were busy and suggested he try the Bluebird, a new restaurant in the area.
- 7:59 PM: Tom texted his girlfriend saying he would head home that evening - but he didn't.
- 7:59 PM – 9:30 PM: We cannot account for his whereabouts between then and about 9:30.That is the time period when the alleged crime occurred, though we did not know that until Thursday, May 4, when the Sheriff for the first time spoke of the details of the sexual assault.
- 9:30 PM: Tom turns up at the Matterhorn again, which was very crowded that night. He spoke to the bouncer at the door, who estimates he left after 11 PM.
- 11:45 PM: Tom enters the "Bluebird."
"Bluebird" restaurant owner Janet Bartlett and chef Andrew Raymond were two of the few people there on their last night of the season. NEWS CENTER interviewed them on April 20, while investigating Tom’s disappearance.
“It seemed like he was winding down as evening and needed one less stop for some food and then to head home there was nothing odd about it,” Raymond said.
Bartlett explained that Tom gave an off-the-cuff weather forecast at the restaurant. They sent us a video of it.
“I can picture him walking away outside through the window giving everybody a big wave,” Bartlett said.
“What a sad twist,” he added. “We're still trying to figure it out.”
Sunday, April 2
Tom's girlfriend tells us that at 8 a.m. Sunday, April 2, he texted her "good morning" with a heart emoji, which was a typical greeting.
NEWS CENTER has examined his phone records. His last text that we know of was at 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning: a prayer emoji to his girlfriend. That was the last she heard from him.
When he didn't come home, she reported him missing.
When he didn't report to work, police said they had reason to believe he was not in imminent danger.
Thursday, April 6
Police interviewed Tom's family Thursday afternoon and put a missing persons report out soon after.
His body was found Thursday night, April 6, in Auburn. Police believe he died either Sunday night or Monday.