WARWICK, R.I. — Acquaintances of Travis M. Frink were still trying to fathom why the Hoxsie Four Corners man on Tuesday traveled nearly 300 miles from Rhode Island to Lebanon, New Hampshire, where, police say, he shot his mother to death as she lay in her hospital bed.
The New Hampshire State Police charged Frink, 48, of 76 Hoxsie Ave., with first-degree murder in the death of his mother, Pamela Ferriere. He was held without bail Wednesday. His 49th birthday is next Wednesday.
According to an affidavit filed by New Hampshire State Police supporting the murder charge, Frink signed in at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Intensive Care Unit at 1:15 p.m Tuesday. Ferriere had been in the hospital for at least two weeks, getting treatment for an aneurysm. She was scheduled to go home Friday.
According to statements from Robert Ferriere, her husband and Frink’s stepfather, and a nurse who was treating her, Frink came into her room with a small duffel bag and asked if he could speak to her alone. She agreed.
Lauren Wojtonik, a nurse, said she turned and saw Frink holding a black handgun with both hands, pointing it at his mother. She told police she ran from the room and hid behind some medical equipment, the affidavit said.
Robert Ferriere told police that as he left the room, he heard his wife scream. He said he looked back in time to see Frink pointing the gun at his wife and then saw him fire several shots into her. Frink then put the gun back in his bag and walked past Ferriere.
“Frink did not say a word,” the affidavit said.
Police said Frink told them he’d driven to the hospital that day. His house is in the middle of Hoxsie Avenue, a side street off Warwick Avenue near its intersection with Airport Road. The house is across the street from Holden Elementary School.
Madison Choquette, 20, of 90 Hoxsie Ave., said she never really talked much to Frink or his three children whom she would see around the house.
Of her neighbor being charged with killing his mother, she said, “It’s kind of crazy, when it’s two doors down.”
Frink was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1968 and had moved to Rhode Island by 1985, when he enlisted in the , finishing his training at Parris Island in late 1986. He earned an associate’s degree in computer science at Community College of Rhode Island in 1992 and a bachelor’s degree in the same field at Rhode Island College in 1995, according to a résumé he posted online. He was a dean’s list student at both institutions.
After graduating from RIC, he worked as a systems programmer at the Stanley Works Inc., installing hardware and software upgrades and working on backup and recovery systems. He became a specialist in IBM iSeries computers and worked for a range of companies, including the sporting goods maker Acushnet Co. and Mohegan Sun casino.
In 1997, he wed Kathleen M. Ide, but it was a troubled marriage. After having three children, they divorced in 2006. The divorce dragged on for years, with the Family Court ordering Frink to pay back child support in 2008 and Kathleen seeking to garnish his wages in 2010.
Kathleen died in August 2013, at age 39. Her body, along with that of her 3-year old son by another relationship, were found in a car parked in the Fairfax Village apartment complex in Warwick. The car, its windows closed and engine running, was checked at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 17. The air conditioning was blowing hot air, police said at the time.
Police said Kathleen Frink had struggles with alcohol in the past, including a 2012 incident that prompted police to contact the state Department of Children, Youth and Families.
Pamela Ferriere lived in Groton, New Hampshire, and had been active in civic life, serving on several town committees and as a supervisor of the town’s voter list.
In a statement released by Groton Town Clerk Ruth Millett on behalf of the family, Millett said Ferriere was also remembered in Lebanon as a devout Christian.
“She loved gardening, walking and biking with her husband,” said the statement, which was approved by the family. “She will be greatly missed by her husband and family and by all who knew and loved her.”
Robert Ferriere recalled his wife’s favorite passage in Scripture, Psalm 121, adding, “she really loved them all but, when we went hiking up mountains and hills we somehow felt closer to the God of creation.”
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