Man rescued at sea has home searched by police; mother presumed dead

BOSTON — A young man at the center of a mystery at sea is now back at home, following a debrief by Coast Guard officials.

A Vermont sheriff's office confirmed Tuesday that officers searched the Vernon home of 22-year-old Nathan Carman, who spent a week at sea in a life raft. Officers seized electronic equipment and a letter written by him. Carman's mother is still unaccounted for and presumed dead.

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Posted by Boston 25 News on Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Carman arrived in Boston on Tuesday morning aboard the freighter that rescued him off the coast of Massachusetts Sunday. His mother, 54-year-old Linda Carman, of Middletown, Connecticut, has not been found.

Carman spent several hours with Coast Guard officials after he got back to land. He had an attorney with him and was allowed to leave with his father Tuesday evening.

The mother and son disappeared Sept. 18 after leaving a Rhode Island marina to go on a fishing trip in the son's 31-foot aluminum boat named the Chicken Pox.

The Coast Guard had suspended its search for the pair Friday, but a private freighter found Carman two days later. Audio after the rescue was released Tuesday afternoon and can be listened to in full below.


During the interview with the Coast Guard, Carman said the small boat he and his mother were on suffered an engine failure and sank.

"When I saw the life raft, I did not see my mom...have you found her? I got to the life raft after I got my bearings... and I was whistling and calling and looking around... and I didn't see her," he told the Coast Guard while aboard the private freighter.

According to the search warrant, the Windham County Sheriff's office seized an XFinity modem with the cable, a Garman SIM card, and a letter written by Carman.

Neighbors said Carman's home did not have power, so police needed to use flashlights during their search of the home.

Carman returned home Tuesday night and told the Hartford Courant that he was thankful for the prayers and concerns for him and his mother.

Family members have said Nathan has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism.


The Hartford Courant reports that the Carman family was also struck by tragedy in 2013 when Linda Carman's father -- John Chakalos of Windsor, Connecticut -- was found dead in his home of a gunshot wound to the head.

The Courant reports that Nathan was a suspect in the murder and Windsor Police submitted an arrest warrant for him, but the warrant was returned the next day, unsigned.

Previously, Nathan Carman went missing in 2011 after he became distraught over the death of his horse, his parents said at the time. After a widespread search, the then 17-year-old was found in Sussex County, Virginia. Police said he took a bus to Virginia and bought a scooter he had planned to ride to Florida.


Denise Lavoie of the Associated Press contributed to this report.