Person of interest named in search for Fla. man

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine State Police suspect some kind of crime connected to the disappearance of a Florida firefighter, and they want to talk more with a Bangor man as the investigation intensifies.

Meanwhile, family and friends of Jerry Perdomo held out hope the 31-year-old Seminole County, Fla., firefighter will turn up. He's been missing since Feb. 16.

"We just want him to come home," Tonya Perdomo, wife of the missing man, told The Associated Press from her home in Orange City, Fla.

In Maine, state Public Safety Department spokesman Stephen McCausland said investigators have spent two days gathering evidence at a house in the Waldo County town of Jackson that's owned by the father of Daniel Porter, 24, of Bangor. Police believe the house is the last place Perdomo was seen. Evidence has been sent to the state police crime lab in Augusta.

Porter is "a person of interest" in the case, said the spokesman.

McCausland also said police interviewed Porter and Porter's 25-year-old girlfriend, Cheyanne Nowak, after detectives located them in Connecticut during the past week. The two have since returned to Maine.

Investigators also have moved three vehicles involved in the case to the crime lab. They include a rental car Perdomo had been operating, which was found in the parking lot of the Bangor Wal-Mart; a car that had been owned by Porter and was left behind at an Oakland dealership, and a new car bought by Porter and Nowak.

"The connection between Perdomo, Porter and Nowak, we're still trying to piece together," said McCausland. Perdomo made frequent trips to Maine, he said. A woman claiming to be Perdomo's girlfriend has come forward to police, but McCausland did not have her name.

Police also confirmed they searched a trash container at the Hannaford supermarket in Bangor, near Wal-Mart.

Perdomo's wife described the father of 3- and 10-year-old children as "a dedicated dad. He helps people out a lot."

"He was always doing something for somebody," said Tonya Perdomo. "He's very sociable. He was in the service and knows a lot of people."

Asked if it would be unusual for Perdomo to drive to Maine from Florida, his wife said, "He had friends from all over so it wouldn't be unusual for him to go out of town." Tonya Perdomo also thanked firefighters, neighbors and others who have been helping the family since her husband's disappearance.

Chris Learch, Perdomo's brother-in-law, was in Maine putting up posters with Perdomo's picture in the Bangor area.

"We're just going to keep doing it, going to keep on going until we find Jerry and bring him home," Learch told WMTW-TV in Portland.

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