Woman found in stream was Bangor resident, 71

Posted May 31, 2011, at 2:13 p.m.
Last modified June 01, 2011, at 11:07 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The state medical examiner’s office has identified the body of a woman found Monday in the Kenduskeag Stream as 71-year-old Linda Briggs.

Briggs was a Bangor resident, but little is known about her life, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday. Her two children, one of whom lives outside Maine, have been informed of her death, he said.

A spokesman for the medical examiner said Tuesday that the cause and manner of Briggs’ death were pending the results of further investigation.

“It could be a couple of months because of the toxicology tests,” Edwards said. “We’re in a holding pattern.”

Briggs’ body was discovered face-down in the stream by someone walking near Bagel Central on Monday shortly before the beginning of the Memorial Day parade.

Bangor police told the Bangor Daily News that the woman’s death did not appear to be the result of foul play.

“There is nothing to indicate that,” Edwards said. “We don’t believe at this point that it’s suspicious and the ME [medical examiner] hasn’t told us differently.”

Police searched the area above where Briggs’ body first was seen and found no evidence to indicate a crime, he said. The Bangor woman was fully clothed and had “no outward signs of trauma,” the sergeant said.

Numerous spectators who were awaiting the parade watched Monday as rescue personnel pulled the woman from the water and then onto dry land behind the Sea Dog Brewing Co. restaurant on the Penobscot River, just below where the stream and river meet.

Briggs was listed as a “loving companion of many years” in the obituary of Abraham David Rapaport, who died in September 2008. His daughter-in-law Patty Rapaport of Bangor said on Tuesday that she was saddened when she heard that Briggs had died.

Kirsten Ayer Lindahl of Auburn said she met Briggs about 13 years ago and described her as a “dear, dear friend” who loved making her home a haven for birds and squirrels. Briggs and A. David Rapaport attended her wedding in 2003, she said.

“She used to work at a store in Bangor called Wild Bird Crossing, a place that catered to people who loved wildlife in all its forms,” Lindahl said in an email. “She often talked of how much she loved working there — it was ‘right up her alley’ she used to say.”

Briggs’ home is visible from the road and is beautifully landscaped. On Tuesday, a car sat in the driveway and the house was dark.

“She designed all of that landscaping herself and she made sure to put many plants and shrubs that the birds would love,” Lindahl said. “She even made sure to keep that old Linden tree going for her squirrels and their babies. There is a birdhouse on that tree that the squirrels live in year-round.”

In the last five years, her friend made jewelry and sold it as craft shows all over Maine, Lindahl said of Briggs.

“I am devastated and will miss her very, very much,” she said. “I cannot believe she is gone.”

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