PLYMOUTH — The family of a Plymouth man shot to death nearly two years ago in his workshop is offering a reward for information in the case that the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has ruled a homicide.
John Labbe’s body, bearing multiple gunshot wounds, was found in the building on his 11-acre parcel off Texas Hill Road in Plymouth, not far from the Bridgewater town line. He was killed the night of Sept. 8, 2011, according to authorities.
His sister, Carole Noyes of Waldorf, Md., representing a group of family members who gathered Monday at the Plymouth Police Department, said the family had posted a $10,000 reward for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. Labbe was 54.
Noyes told a group of reporters who gathered for the afternoon news conference that she wanted people to know something about Labbe, one of two brothers and seven siblings raised in Colebrook.
“I want you to know who John Labbe was. In many ways, he was a simple man. He loved his farm, his animals and the mountains. He loved working on the land. And while he was not a perfect man, he was still precious to all of us,” Noyes said.
He stayed in Plymouth after moving south to attend what was then Plymouth State College.
But the former altar boy at St. Brendan’s Church in Colebrook emerged from anonymity in May 2010 when he filed suit in Hillsborough County Superior Court North against the Diocese of Manchester and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Province of the United States, based in Washington, D.C.
Labbe alleged that the Rev. George St. Jean, who died in 1982, sexually assaulted him about 100 times as a boy growing up in Colebrook in the 1960s, often while the two sat in the backseat of the family car while Labbe’s father shuttled the priest to Mass.
“God wants this,” St. Jean told Labbe more than once of the assaults, Labbe claimed in the suit.
Labbe’s attorney, Jessica Arbour of Miami, Fla., said after his death the case had not yet been adjudicated.
“He is a very courageous man and one of the first in New Hampshire to accuse a priest of sexual abuse,” Arbour said at the time. Regarding the shooting, Arbour said she had “no indication anyone would do this to him.”
Noyes said in a brief interview Monday at the police department that she had last seen her brother alive in the summer of 2011, and had no idea who would have wanted him dead.
Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General James Vara was also at the police department, but said state officials would not answer questions.
“Today is for the family,” Vara said.
“Please help us find John’s killer,” Noyes said in her prepared statement. “Let Plymouth be known as a town that seeks out the truth, where justice is served, and is a safe place to live.”