, Gloucester, MA

April 19, 2013

Essex ends house probe

By James Niedzinski
Staff Writer

---- — ESSEX — Nearly three weeks after the house at 26 Water St. was raided, and authorities hauled out for marijuana and drug manufacturing equipment, police have made no progress in charging anyone and have temporarily suspended their investigation into the case, Chief Peter Silva said Thursday.

Silva said that, while case was called in to police as a possible methamphetamine lab, marijuana and equipment used for it were the only items seized from the house.

According to the Essex Assessors office, the most recent owner is Joyce Wood, not David Killam or Kenneth Britner as previously reported.

Wood, who now lives in Gloucester, inherited her childhood house in 2004, and has had little contact with Essex police since the raid, she said Thursday.

Silva said Thursday the house did not appear to be broken into, and he said Wood has been cooperative with police, but currently the case is in a state of temporary suspension.

”At this point, there are no charges that are expected to be taken,” he said, adding that he does not believe homeowner Wood has had any role in the drug case. He also added that, if new information or breakthroughs in the case come to light, the status of the investigation would certainty change.

”Right now, we are looking at anybody who would have access to that property,” Silva said.

He added this could mean anyone from a tenant to a real estate agent and anyone in between.

Wood said the property has caused problems for her in the past. She said the most recent tenants were evicted about four months ago for non payment. While Silva noted there have been no signs of any break-ins, Wood added that friends have told her that other people have been in the house since then, without her knowledge.

She said she was at the property Wednesday morning when she talked to someone who claimed to be living there, without her knowledge.

”They said they were moving out, I have no idea who’s doing this,” she said.

”This whole thing has been a nightmare,” she said.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at