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Victim and husband well-known, active in their small NH town

New Hampshire Union Leader
Union Leader Correspondent

September 14. 2017 10:19AM
Robert Ferriere, in red striped shirt, is consoled outside Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon Tuesday. (JEFFREY HASTINGS PHOTO)

The tiny Grafton County town of Groton felt devastated Wednesday to find that a beloved resident had been murdered, while in the Rhode Island city of Warwick, neighbors realized the house next door belonged to a possible killer.

Court records show Travis Frink, 48, had a troubled past, including being forced to undergo a psychological evaluation while divorcing his wife, who was later found dead in a running car along with her 3-year-old son. The child also died.

The 2013 deaths were considered a tragic accident.

Frink allegedly killed his mother, Pamela Ferriere, 70, on Tuesday in the ICU of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Ferriere, and her husband, Robert, were fixtures in Groton, a town of 650 in the foothills of the White Mountains. They moved there to retire. He was a former selectman; she was a former election official.

"We're devastated. Everyone's in shock," said Gina Rescigno, wife of Selectman John Rescigno.

Ferriere, who was rushed to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center two weeks ago with an aneurism, had been scheduled to leave Friday. Her husband visited daily and ate meals with her in the hospital.

The killing took place Tuesday in the presence of Robert Ferriere, who was Frink's stepfather.

"It's a devastating loss," said Christina Goodwin, chairman of the selectmen. "Pamela is one of the sweetest people I know."

Both enjoyed the outdoors and bicycled, hiked and snowshoed. They had summered in a seasonal home on Jewell Hill for years, but within the past five years had purchased a full-time home in the more established part of town near Cockermouth Forest.

They joined the nearby church and took positions on town boards. She was a library trustee and supervisor of the checklist. He was a selectman and Conservation Commission member.

"She was a wonderful woman, a very mild-mannered woman. He was the outspoken one. That goes with being a selectman," said Gina Rescigno, the wife of Selectman John Rescigno.

But last year, they left their boards.

Robert's heart was bad. He reduced stress by resigning as selectman, and Pamela concentrated on helping him with his diet and exercise, Rescigno said.

The resignations also gave them time to visit their grown children. They didn't have children together; both had previous marriages, and blended their families as one.

Between them they had five children, Rescigno said. Frink was Pamela's son.

According to archives in Rhode Island media, Frink's ex-wife was found dead in a car in 2013 with her 3-year-old son. The car was found against a fence at an apartment complex with the engine running. Residents at the time could hear a child crying but did not immediately call police.

When officers arrived, they found the windows of the car fogged and a strong smell of alcohol and vomit inside. An autopsy was inconclusive but authorities at the time considered it a tragic accident. Reports at the time said Kathleen Frink struggled with alcoholism. Travis Frink was not her son's father.

Frink's address is listed as Hoxie Drive in Warwick, a street of modest-sized Cape-style homes in a dense residential area.

"He's not the kind of guy if you were outside who would take the time to wave to you," said a next-door neighbor who asked not be be named.

The neighbor talked to Frink only once, when he asked if she would hire his teenage son to mow her yard. He lived in the house with another son as well, she said.

"They kept to themselves," the neighbor said.

The father of three, Frink served in the Marines and worked as a computer programmer, the Providence (R.I.) Journal reported, quoting his uncle, Thomas R. Frink of Moosup, Conn.

Thomas Frink said he last saw his nephew in January, and he was engaged.

On Wednesday, Robert Ferriere visited town hall to ask about burying his wife in the town cemetery, said Groton Town Clerk Ruth Millett.

She called Pamela a good Christian who is now in a better place.

"We're sad she's gone and know Bob's heart will ache for a long time because he loved her so much," Millett said.

On Wednesday, Millett prepared a news release that detailed Pamela's gardening, physical activity and favorite Bible verses (Psalm 121: "... My help comes from the Lord/the Maker of heaven and earth. ...").

"When we went hiking up mountains and hills," Bob said in the news release, "we somehow felt closer to the God of creation.";

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