Boy’s body discovered in South Berwick; police release photograph

Posted May 15, 2011, at 5:08 a.m.
Last modified May 15, 2011, at 6:24 p.m.
This digital composite image generated by Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit shows a young boy found dead in South Berwick Saturday afternoon. The boy is 3 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 45 pounds and is estimated to be between four and five years old. Anyone with information regarding the boy's identity is asked to call Maine State Police in Gray at 657-3030.
Contributed photo | State Police Computer Crimes Unit
This digital composite image generated by Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit shows a young boy found dead in South Berwick Saturday afternoon. The boy is 3 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 45 pounds and is estimated to be between four and five years old. Anyone with information regarding the boy's identity is asked to call Maine State Police in Gray at 657-3030.

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine —  Hoping to identify a young boy whose body was found along a remote road in southern Maine, police on Sunday set up a command post, began talking to local residents and released a computer-generated photo of the blue-eyed child.

“The only way we’re going to be able to identify him is if someone recognizes him and calls,” said Sgt. Chris Harriman of the state police.

The boy is 3 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 45 pounds and is believed to have been between 4 and 6 years old with dark or “dirty” blond hair and blue eyes. There were no missing-person reports filed for a boy fitting the description.

Detectives were at the spot where the body was found, along a dirt road off Route 4 outside of South Berwick, said Stephen McCausland of the Maine Public Safety Department. A command post was set up and police had begun interviewing residents, Harriman said.

The body was found about 5 p.m. Saturday by a local resident who saw a blanket at the end of a driveway. When the unidentified woman went to investigate she found the body, Harriman said.

Bruce and Laurie Ralph, who live less than a mile from where the body was found, said the area is quiet and rural and is very dark at night because there are no streetlights.

Laurie Ralph said “it was very disturbing” when she was told of the body being found.

“I didn’t sleep at all last night,” she said.

On Monday, police plan to collect and examine videos from cameras at local stores and highways, including the Maine Turnpike, that might turn up information.

An autopsy was being conducted Sunday afternoon, but officials did not expect a cause or manner of death to be released that day.

Police said earlier in the day that the investigation could not begin in earnest until the boy is identified, allowing investigators to talk to parents, guardians and others who knew him, McCausland said.

State police alerted agencies across New England and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in hopes of getting information about the boy.

The boy was wearing a gray camouflage hooded sweatshirt with the brand name Faded Glory, tan pants and “Lightning McQueen” black sneakers, McCausland said.

Police also are looking for a navy blue Toyota Tacoma pickup truck that may be related to the case. It has an extended cab and a full cap over the bed. The truck has a white license plate, but the state is unknown.

Anyone with information on the boy’s identity or the pickup truck is asked to call Maine State Police in Gray at 657-3030.

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