Man Kills Himself During Traffic Stop in Maine — then Police Find Woman's Body in His Trunk

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the suicide of Gyrth Rutan, who investigators say beat Maddilyn Burgess to death

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On Thursday, a driver who had been pulled over fatally shot himself in front of Maine police officers, and when officers searched the vehicle’s trunk, they discovered a woman’s dead and battered body.

PEOPLE confirms that authorities in both Maine and Massachusetts are investigating the circumstances surrounding last week’s suicide of Gyrth Rutan, a 34-year-old Sturbridge, Massachusetts, man who investigators allege beat 28-year-old Maddilyn Burgess to death.

According to a statement from Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr., Rutan killed himself moments after being pulled over in Gardiner, Maine, just before 5 p.m.

Rutan exited his vehicle and shot himself in the head. In the trunk, the statement says, was Burgess’ corpse.

The Medical Examiner in Maine determined Burgess died of blunt force injuries.

The statement says Maine State Police contacted their counterparts in Massachusetts as well as the Sturbridge Police about what police believe was a murder-suicide. Detectives were sent to Rutan’s residence where a search turned up “evidence of a crime scene.”

A motive remains unclear.


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It is unclear how Rutan and Burgess knew each other.

A friend of Rutan’s told the Bangor Daily News that Rutan appeared distressed the week before his death.

“He wasn’t looking too great,” the unnamed friend said. “He was talking about troubles he was having with his finances, with work, with his most recent girlfriend. He came up for a few days and said he wanted to go camping but he didn’t end up staying.”

The friend also said Rutan has an 11-year-old daughter.

“His whole life was his daughter,” the friend said. “He was a really good dad. He’d take her on adventures and try new things. Its pretty sad that she’ll never see him again.”

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