DEXTER, Maine – Two boys and a girl who were riding their bicycles along Route 23 on Monday found a body floating faceup in Main Stream.
Maine State Police are investigating the cause of death of Timothy Sherwood, 23, of Guilford.
Dexter Police Chief Jim Emerson said Tuesday that the three children were riding their bikes along Route 23, North Dexter Road, near Main Stream around 6:50 p.m. Monday when they spotted the body.
“At first, his legs were actually on the dry ground,” one of the boys, a 9-year-old who lives nearby, said Tuesday. “Plus his mouth was open so I got real scared.”
The boy’s father asked that neither he nor his son be identified.
The boy said he and the two others had ridden their bikes past the scene earlier but didn’t see anything. About 20 minutes later they returned and saw the body in the stream.
The boy ran home to call 911.
He was in “emergency mode,” the father said, and was “on a mission” to call police.
The father called Dexter police, then went down to the concrete bridge which runs 10 to 15 feet over the stream to see for himself.
“He was floating faceup, the feet about a foot from the shore,” the father said of Sherwood. “Picture a swimmer doing a back float.”
Dexter police Officer Gary Morin arrived shortly after the boy’s father called police, according to Emerson.
Morin called state police because it was not clear whether foul play was involved. There were no obvious wounds or significant damage to the body, Emerson said.
“We’re really not sure what happened yet,” he said. “After a preliminary exam, it didn’t look [suspicious]. There were no holes, knives, bad bruises.”
Police found a backpack on a nearby rock, but it appeared to have been placed there and did not wash ashore, Emerson said.
He added that no fishing gear or boat was found nearby.
“I don’t want to say it looked suspicious, but something wasn’t right. There was no reason for the body to be where it was,” Emerson said.
The body was recovered from the river by Dexter firefighters.
“The gentleman was a big boy,” Emerson said.
“There were four, five or six [firefighters] down there,” he added.
Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said not enough is known about the cause of death to reach any definite conclusions about how Sherwood died.
” Dexter police had asked for state police assistance with the aftermath after the body was found,” he said. “At this point, we’re not classifying the death as suspicious.”
An autopsy of the body was completed Tuesday. Pending a toxicology screening, the final cause of death may not be known for four to six months, according to officials at the state medical examiner’s office.
Dexter and state police said they know little about Sherwood.
Emerson said Sherwood had not been reported missing. He lived in Dexter four or five years ago, was witness to a fight in 2004 and received a speeding ticket in 2006.
Sherwood’s driver’s license had a Newport address, according to Emerson, but the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department indicated his residence was in Guilford.
McCausland said the investigation is ongoing.
“[The medical examiner's office] will do testing on their part, we will continue to conduct interviews on our part,” said McCausland. “Hopefully, once both of these phases are complete, we will have a better idea of how he died.”
The families of the other two children could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.