MOOERS -- Word spread quickly Wednesday that Darcy Manor's death was likely the third in a string of murders over the course of a few weeks.

"It's horrifying. It's scary," said the Mooers man's aunt Betty Bushey after a news conference in the Mooers Town Office Complex.

Glen D. Race of Nova Scotia was apprehended near the Mexican border Tuesday morning; he has been charged with the murders of two men in Halifax and will also be charged with killing Manor.

"The senseless killing of this poor man is enough to rip you apart," said Martin V. Lavin, whose family corporation, Churubusco Lodge Inc., owns the camp where Manor was murdered last Thursday.

"It's beginning to take on some form as to why this ridiculous and unspeakable thing had to happen to destroy lives," the Burlington attorney said, the vibrato of anger plain in his voice.

"Particularly in view of the fact (the murderer) could have easily hidden away, it's pretty obvious he made a purposeful decision he was going to do something."

Lavin was relieved to learn Manor's stolen pickup truck had been recovered by police but was amazed it had traveled all the way to Texas.

"It doesn't seem possible," he said. "It's such a recognizable vehicle.

"I have this sneaking suspicion that we were unusually lucky (Race) did not get across that border," he added.

"He was so close to the border," marveled West Chazy resident Peter Hameline, expressing relief at the man's capture.

"Thank God they found him," echoed Ellenburg Depot Fire Chief Richard Manor, one of Darcy Manor's uncles. "I was very surprised they got him down there so close to the border."

Area residents still reeled over Manor's murder Wednesday afternoon as they took in the shocking news of the double homicides in Nova Scotia.

"I just felt that it couldn't have been someone who knew him," Kitty Begore said as she discussed the case with her customers at Sandi's Kountry Kitchen. "Darcy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It sounds like this man was just desperate for what Darcy had on him."

"I didn't think it was anyone from here; I thought it had something to do with the border," said Shirley Snide, eating lunch at the restaurant with her husband, Donald. "You just never know nowadays. It seems like people kill over anything now."

Lavin traveled from Vermont to attend Manor's wake and funeral.

"My eyes are still watering," he said from his Burlington office. "It was awful.

"When I met (Manor's widow) Heather at the wake, I completely broke down."

Lavin last saw Manor about a week and a half before the murder, when he told him he planned a weekend at the camp soon.

It was time to get the water system up and running, and though Lavin doesn't mind installing it as much as shutting it down for the winter, he said Manor told him he would tend to the task.

Lavin knows that, the night before, Manor went over the job details at his home on White Road in Mooers, collecting the tools he'd need for the work.

"That poor, poor man," he said. "That poor, poor family.

"The senselessness of this whole thing is just incomprehensible."

"Evan will never know his father," said Bushey of Manor's youngest son, who turns 2 in September.

As for 5-year-old Jake, she added, "memories will fade as he gets older."

Richard Manor was still wondering how Race ended up at the camp on the dead-end road and how "he made it over here without being caught or recognized."

Churubusco Lodge is just a mile or so from the U.S./Quebec border, adjacent to a local natural wonder called the Gulf, a deep chasm in the midst of wilderness in both New York and Canada that Lavin said no car would be able to negotiate.

He thought it unlikely Manor's killer could have sneaked into the country on foot at that point, either.

"Let's say it would be quite a challenge," Lavin said.

While his 395.6-acre camp property is gated at entrances both on Drown and Soucia roads, it's not unusual, he said, for locals to show up on the premises, especially at the western end near the Gulf.

It's common, too, for people from the area to ride all-terrain vehicles on the camp's trails.

"As long as the property is respected, it's no problem," he said.

Neither he nor any of his family has ever found anyone from Canada or farther afield on the grounds, he added.

"(But) someone got there somehow -- that, we do know," he said, his anger unabated. "Let's hope the person or persons responsible for (the murder) spend a long time behind bars.

"Or in a chair that gets warm."

smoore@pressrepublican.com

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