The Lincolnville man killed Friday lived with the man accused of his murder for several months after nearly becoming homeless, according to neighbors.
Maine State Police arrested 47-year-old Matthew Pendleton on Saturday after they found Kevin Curit, also 47, unresponsive in Pendleton’s home on Thorndike Road in Lincolnville, according to spokesperson Shannon Moss. Although an autopsy was performed, cause of death has been withheld at the request of the Maine attorney general’s office, Moss said.
Pendleton has been charged with murder in the death and is being held without bail at Waldo County Jail. He will make his first court appearance at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at the Waldo County Courthouse.
The death would be the first murder for the small midcoast town in at least 26 years, according to Maine State Police data dating back to 1997, though residents see it as an isolated incident.
On Monday, neighbors said that the two men had known each other for decades. Neighbor Ben Hazen, who grew up in Lincolnville with Curit and Pendleton, said the two were friends for at least 30 years before Curit moved in last summer. Curit had been at risk of homelessness at the time, Hazen said. Both men went to the former Camden-Rockport High School in the early 1990s, Hazen said.
Curit, who worked as a mechanic, owned a contracting company, Curit Builders, based in Lincolnville, Hazen said. He also volunteered for the Lincolnville Fire Department alongside Hazen for about a decade.
“He was a really great firefighter … and a talented guy,” Hazen said.
Neighbors said that Pendleton lived on Thorndike Road, where Curit died, for at least 10 years.
While nearby resident Bruce Michelson knows most of his neighbors well, he said Pendleton was never very active in the community.
But Pendleton appeared pleasant, both Hazen and Michelson said.
“We never had any problems with him. I wouldn’t have expected it, to be honest,” Hazen said.
Around town Monday, residents said that while they are surprised by the death, they don’t feel any less safe in Lincolnville. Lifelong resident Jesse Barrett said he sees Curit’s death as an isolated incident in the small town where most people leave their doors unlocked.
“They maybe just had a rocky relationship living there together,” Hazen said.