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Sailboat Owner Arrested After Companion’s Weighted Body Pulled From Sea

July 22, 1991 GMT

SALEM, Mass. (AP) _ A man who initially told police his female sailing companion drowned in a boating accident was arrested after a lobsterman pulled her weighted body from the ocean, authorities said.

Thomas Maimoni, 46, was arrested Saturday in a cabin in northern Maine near the Canadian border.

Maimoni said ″I killed a woman in Mass. (Massachusetts)″ but was dissuaded from saying more because he had not been read his rights, Washington County Deputy Robert Gross told WCVB-TV in Boston.

Maimoni originally denied he took Martha Brailsford sailing out of Salem on July 12, but changed his story Tuesday and told authorities she was hit in the head by the boat’s boom and fell overboard, police said.

A lobsterman pulled up Mrs. Brailsford’s body Thursday. Her ankle was tied to an anchor and a weighted belt was tied around her waist, police said. An autopsy determined the 37-year-old woman drowned.

Maimoni then disappeared. He was arrested on a burglary charge Saturday, because he allegedly broke into the cabin, Salem Police Detective Conrad Prosniewski said.

He was held without bail pending arraignment Monday in Machias, Maine, and Massachusetts authorities were seeking his extradition.

Mrs. Brailsford, an interior designer, last was seen climbing onto a white 28-foot sailboat later identified as Maimoni’s vessel, the Counterpoint, police said. Her husband reported her missing.

Maimoni, an engineer who also is married, initially told police the woman boarded the boat, but left before it sailed. He later told police the accident story, Prosniewski said.

Maimoni told authorities he met Mrs. Brailsford several months ago while they were walking their dogs, Salem police said.

Maimoni told Maine authorities he drove within five miles of the Canadian border at one point, and later stood across from the street from a police barracks and considered turning himself in.

″He was on the razor’s edge of getting away,″ said Timothy McCadden, a Maine state trooper. ″He was less than five miles away. He could have gone across.″ Instead, he was arrested Saturday as he sat in the log cabin near Waite, Maine, after a suspicious neighbor called police.