Authorities in Maine raised the bail amount for a local “hermit” arrested in connection with 1,000 burglaries following a marriage proposal and an offer to pay for his release from jail.
The Kennebec Journal reported on Monday that a woman offered to marry 47-year-old Christopher T. Knight, while an unidentified man offered to pay the initial $5,000 bail for Knight, who was identified as the “North Pond Hermit” living in the woods near Rome, Maine for 27 years.
“The first concern is he might be a flight risk,” District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said. “The second concern is the group of people who are interested in posting bail for Mr. Knight who are not from our state and not members of his family. I will remain concerned for Mr. Knight until he has an attorney helping him to navigate what is a new world to him.”
Knight was arrested on April 4 after being caught stealing food from a local camp site for disabled children and adults. After Knight refused the offer to pay for his release, his bail was increased to $250,000 and prosecutors added charges of theft and burglary to his initial burglary charge.
Knight allegedly told police he had committed more than 1,000 burglaries in order to subsist in his self-made encampment.
“Everything he owned except for his eyeglasses was stolen,” a Maine State Police spokesperson told Reuters.
WMTW-TV reported on April 10 that Knight’s camp had a tarp to shield him from the elements. Despite the harsh winter climates in the area, however, he refused to light a fire for warmth, instead relying on multiple sleeping bags to keep warm, as well as purposefully gaining weight during the fall.
“He just decided to take off into the woods,” State Trooper Diane Perkins-Vance said. “He’s telling us there’s no reason for it, just something he decided to do.”
Watch a report on the offers coming in on Knight’s behalf, posted on April 15, 2013 by the Journal, below.