PARKMAN – The man involved in the state’s longest manhunt may be behind bars, but the family of his victim say they still want to know who helped him stay hidden for so long.
“Who housed him for the last six weeks that he was supposedly on the run,” Vance Ginn, father of murder victim Stephanie Ginn Gebo, asked recently. “He turned himself in with no suntan, no bug bites, clean-shaven and showered. Sixty-eight days in the woods of Maine? Things just don’t add up.”
Convicted murderer Robert Burton was the subject wanted in Maine’s longest manhunt. It started on June 5, 2015, when he shot Stephanie Ginn Gebo at her Parkman home.
Burton turned himself in at the Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft on Aug. 11. He was later convicted of murder and sentenced to 55 years in prison.
“The investigation is closed,” said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. “I do know he was in remarkably good shape when he turned himself in to the sheriff’s department. But whether anyone helped him, unless someone comes forward, we’ll never know.”
Ginn thinks the investigation should continue.
“I don’t know really know if there is ever complete closure, but we don’t even have close,” he said. “There is somebody still out there walking around who helped this man. We don’t even have close to closure on it.”
He added later, “My family can’t get closure until at least someone tries to find out who did it.”
A 66-day search in 1943 for a Canadian draft dodger who shot a well-known Maine guide at Webster Lake is believed to be the second-longest manhunt for a murder suspect in Maine.
That manhunt ended when “The Phantom of the Allagash,” was fatally shot.
Agencies from across New England helped with the search for Burton in and around Parkman.
“There were a lot of state agencies involved in addition to New Hampshire and Vermont sent personnel and the FBI was also there,” McCausland said. “This was a very expensive, long manhunt four years ago.”
Ginn says he believes someone local helped the fugitive.
“It’s somebody in the community,” he said, standing near a memorial garden he planted in his daughter’s memory.