LEWISTON, Maine — Police arrested and are holding a 20-year-old man in connection with the suspicious death of a woman whose decomposing remains were removed Tuesday by the Maine office of the chief medical examiner from a first floor apartment at 417 Main St.
Bob W. Ryder formerly of Litchfield was arrested at about 3 a.m. Tuesday and held on a probation violation at Androscoggin County Jail. No bail was allowed.
According to Tuesday’s Lewiston Police Department call log, someone came into the lobby of the station just before 10 p.m. Monday and reported a woman was dead in the Main Street apartment. Police said the woman had been dead for weeks. The age of that woman is not yet known.
The State Police criminal investigation division truck was at the address to process the scene, as was the Lewiston critical incident response unit.
The apartment is in the back of the building that housed the former Community Wireless Plus office across the street from Central Maine Medical Center. According to city assessing records, the property is owned by Double Eagle Properties LLC.
According to a man standing outside the apartment who told the Sun Journal he was the building’s manager, the apartment had been leased to a man for the past three or four months. The tenant’s girlfriend has been missing for about three weeks, according to the manager.
State Police later identified the man as the building’s owner.
According to that owner-manager, the tenant told a friend that he had killed his girlfriend and stuffed her in a hole somewhere in the building, according to the owner, but the tenant then started feeling bad about it and told a friend.
Police were seeking to gain entry to the basement through a door that had been fortified.
It was that friend, according to the owner, that reported the death to police Monday night.
According to a Facebook page that gives the same date of birth, Ryder served in the U.S. Marines after attending Oak Hill High School in Wales.
Court records show Ryder had been charged with burglary, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, criminal trespass on Aug. 21, 2010 and criminal trespass on Aug. 20, 2010. He was found guilty, sentenced to two years, six months with all but 102 days suspended and probation two years on first charge; sentenced to 20 days on second charge; and sentenced to 30 days on third and fourth charges.
State and local police have cordoned off the building with tape, and several patrolmen are stationed outside the apartment. According to one of the patrolmen, investigators had not been in the apartment as of 10 a.m. Local police had secured the scene since Monday night, awaiting arrival of state investigators.
Police were waiting earlier Tuesday morning for warrants to be issued before entering the building.
The body is expected to be transported to the medical examiner’s office for autopsy and identification Wednesday, according to police.
According to police, although the incident was reported to police as a homicide, police consider this to be a suspicious death at this time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
See more news from the Sun Journal at www.sunjournal.com.