Media Archive

Police discover two Milo deaths

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 164, No. 33, August 14, 2002

By Sarah MacIlroy
Staff Writer

MILO Two Milo residents died late Friday afternoon, apparently after an argument erupted at their Medford Road home.

Sergeant Chris Coleman, a state police detective, said 66-year-old Pearle M. Cogswell and her husband, Eugene E. Cogswell died as a result of gunshot wounds. They were discovered just before 4:30 p.m.when Milo Police responded to a call from the home.

Less than 15 minutes before police arrived on the scene, Pearle Cogswell spoke to a deputy at the Piscataquis County Sheriff's Office, requesting help for a domestic assault.

"The officer asked her what had happened, and Pearle told him that her husband had thrown a glass of water in her face and she indicated that her husband was still there," sais Coleman. "The dispatcher inquired if there were any weapon involved. (She said) that her husband had a pistol, but he didn't have it out."

Police were at the the Cogswell home by 4:37 p.m.,he said, where they discovered both bodies. Although the days events are still under investigation, preliminary work shows the deaths may have resulted from an argument over a blueberry pie made for family members visiting from Connecticut.

"We've been piecing things together since, and there was a call made by Pearle to a family member," he said. "It was a very short call in which Pearle indicated that she was supposed to meet up with some other relatives in Kittery...Pearle had made a blueberry pie to take down to the Connecticut relatives, and apparently Eugene felt that the pie shouldn't be going out of state, and the call was terminated."

During her call to the Piscataquis County Sheriff's Office, Coleman said that Pearle Cogswell did not sound panicked.

"We do have a recording of the actual phone call, and we've listened to it several times," he said. "She was asked by the dispatcher if she felt safe until the police arrived, and she said she thought she did she hoped she did. She wasn't crying or verbally emotional. She sounded very calm. The dispatcher did a great job after he inquired about the weapons and asked if she felt safe. He did say that if she needed to, she could call him back on 9-1-1 to keep on the line with her."

The medical examiner's report revealed that sometime before the police arrived, Pearle Cogswell had been shot and killed, and that her husband died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

However, police records do not indicate that Eugene Cogswell had any history of violence.

"In an investigation like this there are several ways we try to gather information through official records, through police contacts, through police calls to the residence or prior involvements," Coleman explained. "At this point we're coming up empty on that front. There has been no indication that there was ever police involvement."

State police are still in the process of gathering information from people who knew the couple - and said it was too early to tell what information those interviews would produce".

Pearle Cogswell, a Milo native, graduated from Milo High School in 1954, and eventually settled back in Milo after working out of state for several years.

A 76-year-old Korean War veteran, Eugene Cogswell, was bom in Chelsea, and after retirement occupied residences in both Milo and Florida.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.