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Maine police find body of slain Florida firefighter


Florida firefighter Jerry Perdomo was reported missing Feb. 16.

Updated at 4:49 p.m. ET: Authorities in Maine on Wednesday identified a body found in the woods near the town of Newburgh, just outside Bangor, as a Florida firefighter missing for more a week.

The body was found Wednesday morning by a state game warden and his dog. The state medical examiner’s office identified the body as Jerry Perdomo, 31, of Orange City, Fla. An autopsy will not begin until Friday at the earliest, the Maine Department of Public Safety said.

The discovery came one day after a suspect in Perdomo's death was arrested. Perdomo, who was a Seminole County, Fla., firefighter, was reported missing Feb. 16. 

A Bangor man, 24-year-old Daniel Porter, has been charged with murder.

According to an arrest warrant, Porter owed Perdomo $3,000 and told police the firefighter threatened him and his family during a game of pool.

Waldo County Sheriff Dept. / AP

Daniel Porter is charged in the death of Jerry Perdomo.

A police investigation began after a woman described as Perdomo's girlfriend told police in Bangor that she last saw him Feb. 16 with a handgun and that he told her he was going to meet someone who owed him money.

According to the affidavit, Porter told police Perdomo was dead but would not say where his body was.

The affidavit also said Porter and Perdomo were involved in drugs and had exchanged death threats in January. Porter complained to police that a man he believed was Perdomo had thrown rocks at his house.

Each man told investigators he had been threatened by the other.

"Perdomo stated that he observed Porter with a machine gun and that Porter threatened to shoot him and put him through a wood chipper," according to the affidavit. "Porter stated that Perdomo threatened to cut off his hands and kill him."

The affidavit cites evidence showing that Porter drove Perdomo's rented car to a Wal-Mart store in Bangor and abandoned it, and threw a bag containing Perdomo's wallet, cell phones and keys into a trash container behind a Bangor supermarket.

Records also show that Porter and his girlfriend had purchased a handgun at a pawn shop on Jan. 20.

Earlier this week, in an interview from her home in Orange City, Fla., Perdomo's wife, Tonya, described the father of 3- and 10-year-old children as "a dedicated dad. He helps people out a lot."

The firefighter had left Florida in a rental car and told his wife he was going to see friends in Maine, which she said was not unusual because he had friends from all over.

Porter was arrested Tuesday at a home in Jackson, Maine, that was rented by Porter's father, Maine police said. The house is believed to be the last place Perdomo was seen alive, investigators said, according to ABC News.

The property where the body was found is believed to be owned by relatives of Porter, police said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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