County and federal authorities refuse to say whether Nathan C. Lamontagne is the unnamed second suspect in last fall's brutal home invasion that left a Bedford anesthesiologist and his wife maimed and near death.
Lamontagne, 26, and Charles Normil, the 32-year-old Massachusetts man charged with the Bedford crimes, go back a ways.
Nearly three years earlier, the Worcester, Mass., pair navigated their way across the New Hampshire border. Relying on a GPS system to locate homes in Rye, they committed a series of home invasions in occupied homes the night of Dec. 5-6, 2009. Both men served time in state prison for the crimes and are on parole.
Now Normil faces two counts of attempted murder, forcible rape and burglary for allegedly brutalizing Dr. Eduardo Quesada, 52, and his wife, Sonia, 29, during a Nov. 24 break-in at 7 Proclamation Court.
Three weeks after the Quesadas were attacked in what authorities say was an apparent random home invasion motivated by financial gain, Normil and Lamontagne were charged in connection with a Dec. 14 home invasion in Methuen, Mass., police allege in court records.
Like the Bedford case, the female victim in the Methuen break-in described her attacker as a thin man wearing a black mask who severely damaged her left eye, requiring she undergo surgical treatment at a Boston hospital.
Methuen police got a break in their case Jan. 7 when a witness told detectives Normil — who then lived in Lawrence and goes by "Bones," "CC" and "Deshaun" — told him he committed the home invasion and attacked the woman, police allege. The witness also said Lamontagne showed up at his house with a "suitcase from Charles" and asked him to "hold it for a few days," police wrote in Lawrence District Court records. The suitcase contained jewelry and Nintendo games later traced to the victims, police said.
Lamontagne was arrested Jan. 7 on a receiving stolen property charge and held on $10,000 cash bail, court records show. He also was charged on a New Hampshire fugitive from justice warrant for violating his parole, court records show.
Lamontagne's January arrest happened about the same time New Hampshire authorities say they got their break in the Bedford case.
It also coincided with Sonia Quesada's death inside her mother-in-law's home, at 9 Kensington Lane, Bedford. Police were called to the condominium that morning to check on Dr. Quesada and his wife. They found Dr. Quesada unconscious, his wife dead and a pile of prescription drugs nearby.
Hillsborough County Attorney Patricia LaFrance said an autopsy showed Sonia Quesada died from an overdose of prescription medication. The manner of death is undetermined, though authorities have said it is not a homicide.
Arrest, charges dropped
Normil was arrested in mid-January, then indicted by an Essex County (Mass.) grand jury Feb. 21 on charges of home invasion, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and larceny of property worth over $250.
While Normil remains jailed in Middleton, Mass. on $250,000 cash bail, prosecutors dismissed the receiving stolen property charge against Lamontagne on March 8. They also dropped the New Hampshire fugitive from justice warrant on March 22 and remanded Lamontagne to U.S Marshals, court records show.
But Normil's troubles only got worse.
On April 12, Bedford police obtained an arrest warrant against Normil charging him with two counts each of attempted murder and first-degree assault and one count each of forcible rape, burglary and falsifying physical evidence.
They allege Normil stabbed Dr. Quesada many times in the head with a screwdriver, resulting in facial fractures, lacerations and bleeding on the brain. Sonia Quesada was repeatedly assaulted sexually and physically, resulting in the loss of one eye.
A second suspect, whom authorities would not identify, is being detained on federal charges out of U.S. District Court in New Hampshire. Officials would not comment on his alleged role in the case or discuss charges against him.
U.S. Marshals in New Hampshire last week said Lamontagne is facing an FBI charge in New Hampshire for interstate transport of stolen property dated March 6.
FBI Supervisory Agent for New Hampshire Kieran L. Ramsey said he "could neither confirm nor deny any charges against any of the people you discussed."
U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire John P. Kacavas also would not comment on who the second suspect is and charges pending against him.
All charges against Lamontagne in the Methuen case were dropped in March when he was remanded to U.S. Marshals.
Hillsborough County's LaFrance said she and Essex County authorities will coordinate the prosecution of Normil. Currently, Bedford police have a detainer against him in addition to his $250,000 cash bail on the Methuen charges.
LaFrance said Bedford police are preparing their case to bring to her office for presentation to a grand jury.
"They are following every lead and getting everything done correctly," LaFrance said.
The FBI's Ramsey said "that investigation, as a whole, is a very slow, deliberate, yet methodical, investigation."
Normil visited Lamontagne at the house Lamontagne rented in Milford "maybe like three times" from the time he moved in with his girlfriend last September or October to when Lamontagne "went to prison about two to three months ago," said Tiana Mead. Mead's mother sublet the second floor of her house, on Westchester Street, to the couple.
"I am just shocked that he actually lived here with us," Mead said.
She said Milford police and State Police have since spoken with her and her mother, specifically asking questions about Lamontagne and about Normil's alleged role in the Bedford home invasion.
She described Lamontagne as "very temperamental." But she said Normil "seemed like a really sweet guy. He was friendly and outgoing."
Mead said a "disagreement" prompted her mother to evict Lamontagne and his girlfriend before Lamontagne went to prison.
Nathan Lamontagne's boss at SH Tree Service in Goffstown said Lamontagne worked for him from late November or early December until January, when he said Lamontagne called him from jail to say he had been arrested.
"He said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and now he is going away," Stephen Herfon said last week.
Herfon said Lamontagne often talked about growing up in Massachusetts and moved to Milford to be with his girlfriend.
"For some reason, he was traveling back and forth to Massachusetts a lot. He told me he had a girlfriend down there and a girlfriend up here, so he was bouncing around. I think it was a little more than that," he added.
"He was very polite, very soft-spoken, but I always knew there was something sketchy about him," Herfon added. He said Lamontagne once tried to sell him three insulated pole saws worth $1,500 each that Herfon suspected were stolen from another tree company.