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911 text prompts police investigation in Litchfield

After making contact with the female who sent the text around 3 a.m., law enforcement's focus turned toward the home from which it originated.

LITCHFIELD, Maine — An early morning 911 text message Tuesday prompted a police investigation that has led authorities to a home in Litchfield.

Maine State Police Lt. Patrick Hood said a 911 text message was sent around 3 a.m. by a female who said she was in trouble and needed help. When police attempted to get more information, the female never responded.

Lt. Hood said police worked through the early morning hours trying to figure out the location from which the text was sent. The phone initially was tracked in the Kennebec County area and Midcoast, but police came up with nothing.

Eventually, it pinged to an address on Dead River Road in Litchfield, where authorities were early Tuesday afternoon attempting to make contact.

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They still weren't sure what kind of situation they were dealing with, but said they didn't believe the public was in any danger.

As a precautionary measure, one nearby home was evacuated. A section of the road was also shut down.

After tracking the phone to the residence, Hood said the home's address showed that at least one resident was a male. Aircraft was requested to figure out if a vehicle present was the male resident's, which was confirmed.

Shortly before 3 p.m., police were seen talking to a woman that is believed to be the female whose phone produced the 911 text.

The woman arrived at the scene in a government-like vehicle, and was later seen in a police vehicle, indicating that she had not recently been inside the home, hadn't ever been inside, or had exited earlier – with or without authorities' help.

Police then sent up a drone, attempting to figure out if someone was home.

Shortly after, the Maine State Police Tactical Team arrived. Negotiators were also on scene, along with Central Maine Power, which typically means authorities wanted the option to cut power to the house, if necessary.

After the drone came down, tactical members geared up and negotiators prepared to communicate with a male they believed was inside.

An initial report from the Kennebec Journal cited emergency dispatch reports that described the incident as being a possible kidnapping.

The spokesperson for Maine's Public Safety Department told NEWS CENTER Maine shortly before 1 p.m. that "there is no active kidnapping," but did not confirm if a kidnapping had ever taken place, just that there was none active.

Hood was unsure about how the kidnapping report came about, and again stressed that police weren't sure what they were dealing with.

The Journal also reported that police were pursuing a suspect off Route 197.

McCausland said specifics likely wouldn't be available until later afternoon.