Ghislaine Maxwell was hiding out in style: her luxury timber-framed home perched on 156 acres of New Hampshire pine and oak forests boasts dramatic views of Mount Sunapee's foothills, but is secluded enough to have kept her out of eyeshot of the tight-knit locals.
It was not until Thursday that other residents of this rural corner of New England knew her whereabouts, after FBI agents arrested her on charges she lured underage girls for the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
"I had no clue she was there," said Laurie Colburn, 53, whose home is within a mile of Maxwell's compound on the outskirts of Bradford, a town of less than 2,000 people defined by its white colonial homes, horse farms, stone walls and a historic covered bridge.
"Goes to show you, you don't always know who your neighbors are."
From left, American real estate developer Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: (L-R) Guest, Piers Morgan and Ghislaine Maxwell attend BREAKFAST WITH LUCIAN by Geordie Greig at Private Residence on October 21, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
(L-R) Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein, and musician Michael Bolton pose for a portrait during a party at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
The Duke of York leaves the wedding of a former girlfriend Aurelia Cecil to Rupert Stephenson at the Parish Church of St Michael in Compton Chamberlayne near Salisbury. The Duke of York left with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of the late Robert Maxwell.
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Ghislaine Maxwell attends VIP Evening of Conversation for Women's Brain Health Initiative, Moderated by Tina Brown at Spring Studios on October 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 3: Ghislaine Maxwell attends Polo Ralph Lauren host Victories of Athlete Ally at Polo Ralph Lauren Store on November 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Ghislaine Maxwell attends NATIONAL URBAN TECH CENTER 2014 Gala at Three Sixty on June 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: TerraMar's Ghislaine Maxwell (L) and his holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa attend a reception at Ghislaine Maxwell’s residence after "StarTalk Live! Water World" Panel Discussion on June 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05: TerraMar's Ghislaine Maxwell attends a reception at Ghislaine Maxwell’s residence after "StarTalk Live! Water World" Panel Discussion on June 05, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 5: Ghislaine Maxwell attends Vanessa Noel Hosts Barbara Taylor Bradford's new book "Cavendon Hall" at Vanessa Noel on June 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 6: Ghislaine Maxwell attends EDUCATION THROUGH MUSIC Annual Children's Benefit Gala at Capitale on May 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: Ghislaine Maxwell attends BREAKFAST WITH LUCIAN by Geordie Greig at Private Residence on October 21, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Ghislaine Maxwell attends day 1 of the 4th Annual WIE Symposium at Center 548 on September 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MARCH 15: Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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Maxwell's arrest is the latest twist in the saga of Epstein, a former math teacher-turned high-flying investor who was found hanged in a New York City jail last August in an apparent suicide while awaiting trial on federal charges of trafficking.
Prosecutors allege Maxwell lured girls for Epstein from 1994 through 1997.
Maxwell's home, identified to Reuters by a law enforcement source, has a narrow and treed-in half-mile dirt driveway with "No Trespassing" signs, obstructed by a padlocked metal fence. A real estate listing said the house has cathedral ceilings, a floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace, and a "wall of glass" overlooking New Hampshire's hills.
A stone with the words "Tucked Away" carved into it stands near the gate.
The FBI scorned her choice of getaway spot in the home that officials said she purchased in December for $1 million in cash.
"She had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims look at the trauma inflicted on upon them years ago," William Sweeney, the FBI's assistant director in New York, said after the arrest.
Bradford locals said they were surprised Maxwell chose their town.
"I'm surprised, because this is a small, quiet town. But I guess that makes it a good place to hide," said Jenna Cook, 18, as she worked a shift at the Sweet Beet farm market on Bradford's main street.
She and other residents said they had never seen Maxwell in town.
"People mainly know each other here, but there are plenty of places to hide away and not be seen," said Alan Grandy, a retired 74-year-old, who said he'd gotten to know most of the people in the area by working for years at the counter of the local grocery store.
Nate Herrick, a 47-year-old English teacher, said Maxwell's choice of a sprawling compound on the outskirts of Bradford was smart.
"She's right up to the Washington town line, and that is the smallest town in the world," he said, sporting a tie-dye shirt and trucker hat outside the local coffee shop. "I ride my motorcycle along that road, and there's just not much back there."