Middletown native lost at sea now at the center of police invest - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Middletown native lost at sea now at the center of police investigation

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Nathan Carman thanked the public for their concern. (CBS photo) Nathan Carman thanked the public for their concern. (CBS photo)
POINT JUDITH, RI (CBS) -

A 22-year-old Middletown native who was lost at sea for nearly two weeks continues to be the center of a police investigation.

Police said Nathan Carman told the Coast Guard that his boat had taken on water.

He made it into a life raft, but his mother, Linda Carman, did not.

More than two years ago, Nathan Carman was considered a person of interest in his grandfather's murder.

John Chakalos was killed in 2013.

The Carmans left on their fishing trip from Point Judith, RI nearly two weeks ago.

They were supposed to be gone only a day.

More than a week later, Coast Guard officials said Nathan Carman was found drifting off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, 40 nautical miles away.

Linda Carman is presumed dead.

Now, Nathan Carman is facing a possible charge of reckless endangerment.

Even before he arrived in Boston aboard a Coast Guard boat, investigators had already shown up at his Vermont home with a search warrant.

They alleged repairs Nathan Carman did to his boat may have rendered it "unsafe for operation."

Police said they seized a modem, GPS SIM card and a letter written by Nathan Carman.

Nathan Carman, who has Asperger's syndrome, regularly went on fishing trips with his mother. 

"I just want to thank the public for their prayers and for their concern for both myself and my mother," Nathan Carman said.

The Carmans left Point Judith on Sept. 17.

Linda Carman texted a friend that they were headed to "Striper Rock" off of Block Island, about 20 miles south.

However, Nathan Carman told the Coast Guard that they were fishing much further south over Block Canyon, place is mother has previously refused to go.

"There was a funny noise in the engine compartment," Nathan Carman told the Coast Guard. "I looked and saw a lot of water. When I was bringing one of the safety brags forward, the boat just dropped out from under my feet. When I saw the life raft, I did not see my mom."

Nathan Carman asked the Coast Guard if it found Linda Carman.

"No, we haven't been able to find her yet," the Coast Guard said.

"I was whistling and calling and looking around," Nathan Carman continued. "And I didn't see her."

"None of us really know what he went through," said Clark Carman, Nathan Carman's father. "I'm sure it was traumatic. After seven days at sea I don't know how anybody made it."

In 2013, Nathan Carman's grandfather was shot dead in his Windsor home.

The Associated Press reported that Chakalos, a successful real estate developer, "left an estate worth more than $42 million to his four adult daughters, including [Nathan] Carman's mother."

According to court documents, Nathan Carman owned a rifle consistent with the murder weapon.

He was also the last known person to see his grandfather alive.

He insisted he had nothing to do with the death of Chakalos.

Nathan Carman's father defended him.

"They are the two closest people to my son, in the world," Clark Carman said. "There's no way he would even injure either one of them."

Police said they sought the arrest of Nathan Carman back in 2014 for murder.

Prosecutors, however, rejected the request. They said they needed more information.

The case remains unsolved.

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