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Maine Gothic: A Boy and His Mother

Even Maine’s most famous horror novelist couldn’t make this up. Well… he could, but it’d probably be too disturbing, depressing, and tawdry for him to bother.

Just before midnight on Sunday, Matthew Audet, age 22, called police in Lewiston, Maine. He told them his 47-year-old mother Debra wasn’t breathing. According to police reports, Matthew Audet said his mother might have attempted suicide. She’d “grabbed her own larynx” and “might have choked herself out.”

Police found Audet in the apartment he shared with his mom, kneeling on a mattress beside her body. Debra Audet was unresponsive and had no pulse.

Matthew Audet was sticking to the suicide story. His mom had tried it before, he told police. Audet demonstrated what he meant to the officers on the scene by grabbing his own throat with both hands and making gagging noises.

Cops naturally wanted Audet to come down to the police department, but they made it clear that he wasn’t under arrest. Audet’s response was odd — he stuck out his arms and pressed his wrists together, saying, “I’m ready.”

The cops didn’t handcuff Audet. He persisted, walking to the police cruiser with his arms behind his back, wrists touching.

Also living in the apartment with Audet and his mother were Matthew’s wife, Kayla, age 19, and a man named Jaime Arsenault, age 30.

Once police talked with Kayla Audet, a different story came to light.

Debra Audet didn’t commit suicide.

Everyone in Apt. 4 had been drinking that night, according to Kayla. She and Matthew were tossing back 40s, but Debra Audet’s drinks of choice were “Night Train” and “Mad Dog 20/20.”

Mother and son were drinking together in Debra’s room. Kayla wasn’t with them. She and Matthew had been having problems. Matthew drank too much for Kayla’s taste, among other things. She told Matthew that she wanted to leave him. An intense argument ensued, culminating in both dashing their wedding rings against the wall.

Kayla took a shower after the fight, then went to her room to gather her belongings. She heard Matthew calling for her.

She ignored his calls at first, but finally she went to Debra’s room to see what he wanted. That was when she saw Debra’s pale form, the dead woman’s tongue protruding from her mouth.

Kayla Audet was scared. She went to the bathroom to grab a few things, and Matthew followed her, saying, “I killed my mom.”

Matthew made a half-hearted attempt to keep his wife from leaving, but she did leave. Kayla went to a friend’s house, where she told her friend what had just occurred in the Audets’ apartment. Shortly after Kayla arrived, they heard the police cars going to the Audet residence, so Kayla went back to talk with the cops.

The most bizarre aspect of the story would come from the friend with whom Kayla sought refuge, identified in police reports as Regan Tims.

Tims told investigators that Debra Audet had a sexual relationship with her son. Tims said the relationship may have begun when Matthew was a boy, 8 or 9 years old. Regan Tims’s story grew even stranger. She’d talked with Debra earlier that Sunday, she said, and the elder Audet had recounted an argument she’d had with Matthew over a separate relationship.

That relationship, according to Regan Tims, was between Debra Audet and Matthew’s wife, Kayla. Tims said that Ms. Audet’s relationship with Kayla began while Matthew was doing a stint in the military.

Police reports indicate that investigators got Kayla Audet to confirm her relationship with her mother-in-law. Kayla said she had no ‘specific knowledge’ of a sexual relationship between Debra and Matthew.

In the end, Matthew Audet seemed to come clean about what happened in his mother’s room. He told of the drinking and hanging out with his mom, and of how she’d begun to harangue him. He wasn’t working enough, she had cancer and they’d be sorry when she was gone, and… Kayla was cheating on him.

That was it, for Matthew Audet. The police report states that he grabbed his mother, thinking he’d just “calm her down.” In the end, ‘calm down’ allegedly meant Audet’s hand on his mother’s throat for at least 30 seconds.

An autopsy on Debra Audet confirmed that she’d been strangled.

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