June 21, 2018
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Causes of death of County men still pending

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

ASHLAND, Maine — Approximately six months after separate incidents led to the death of two Aroostook County men, the state medical examiner’s office is still awaiting reports and other data to determine the causes of death.

Mark Belserene, administrator of the medical examiner’s office, said Wednesday that a ruling into the cause of death of 27-year-old Gilberto Rentas cannot be made because the office is still awaiting toxicology reports. The Madawaska man died in a single vehicle accident on July 8, 2011.

Additional information also is needed before the investigation into the death of Charlie Flint, 58, can be closed. The Presque Isle man’s body was found on Aug. 19, 2011, along a skidder trail off a logging road in Ashland.

“It should not be too much longer,” Belserene said. “Both of those cases came in at relatively the same time, but the volume of cases has increased so it has just taken a bit longer to get all of the reports back and the paperwork completed.”

Rentas died after he crashed h is vehicle into Long Lake.

The former Connecticut resident was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash that happened just before 12:30 p.m. that day.

Rentas was driving a 2008 Nissan Xterra southbound on Route 162 when he failed to negotiate a curve and the car went through the parking lot of Long Lake Sporting Club, struck a boat launch, a dock and a boat and ended up in the lake.

Witnesses who were near the accident scene said Rentas’ rental car traveled at a high rate of speed toward the lake and there were no signs that brakes were applied before the vehicle veered into the water.

Rentas died at the scene despite the efforts of volunteers who attempted to extricate him from the vehicle as it was sinking. His body was recovered later the same day in approximately 15 feet of water by a Maine State Police diver.

The vehicle, the boat launch, the dock and the boat involved in the incident all were destroyed.

The medical examiner’s office ordered toxicology and other tests as part of the death investigation.

Charlie Flint had been missing for ten days before his body was found in the woods in Ashland.

Flint had a heart condition and liked to spend time driving in the woods with his dog. Police believe he drove off the logging road and onto a skidder trail and got stuck. His body was found beside his Jeep Wrangler. His dog, a Pomeranian named Rocky, was found alive in the Jeep.

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