The American Legion on Court Street in Machias where Thomas Bonfanti was taken into custody on Feb. 3, 2020. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

The body of a woman found Tuesday in the trunk of a car in Lubec marks the seventh homicide victim in Washington County since February 2020.

Those victims represent 16 percent of the 44 people in Maine whose deaths currently are being investigated or prosecuted by state officials as homicides. This is despite Washington County’s 2020 population of 31,000 residents being only roughly 2 percent of Maine’s population.

Of the seven people killed there in the past two years, three allegedly were killed by Thomas Bonfanti on Feb. 3, 2020, when he traveled to houses in and around Machias and shot four people before surrendering to police at the Machias American Legion Hall. Bonfanti is expected to go on trial in May for the deaths of Shawn Currey, Sam Powers and Jennifer Bryant-Flynn.

Another man, Wayne Morrill, allegedly was killed at his home in Robbinston on Oct. 7, 2020, at the hands of Charles Townsend. Townsend is accused of setting fire to Morrill’s home, not helping him escape, and standing outside the house watching it burn, prosecutors have said.

Three more people have been killed in Washington County in the past three months.

Brandin Guerrero, 17, of Massapequa, New York, who police say was in Machias to sell drugs, allegedly was fatally shot by members of a rival gang on Nov. 4.

Jason Aubuchon, 50, of Eastport allegedly was killed by his ex-girlfriend the day after Christmas. Police say Danielle Wheeler shot Aubuchon at her home in Perry after the two of them began arguing over drugs.

On Monday, police responded to a report of an altercation at a house in Lubec and reportedly found Eva Cox’s body on Tuesday in the trunk of a car parked nearby. Paul DeForest, 65, was arrested the same day and charged with her murder.

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....