OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine — Maine State Police conducted interviews Sunday trying to determine Roger White’s movements in the hours before his body was found behind 29 Old Orchard St., near Staples Street, about 9 a.m. Saturday.
White’s sister said police told her that her brother was stabbed to death.
The state medical examiner’s office conducted an autopsy Sunday afternoon. The cause and manner of White’s death were not released.
Lt. Brian McDonough, commander of the southern division of the State Police Major Crimes unit, called White’s death “highly suspicious.”
The Major Crimes Unit was called in by Old Orchard Beach Police about 10 a.m. Saturday after an apartment resident found the body an hour earlier.
“Detectives are retracing his footsteps, interviewing family and friends … to help us come up with a timeline,” said Maine Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland Sunday night.
A neighbor, would who only identify himself as “Jim,” on Saturday said he was standing outside his apartment about 9 a.m., smoking a cigarette and waiting for a ride when a man from one of the apartments diagonally across a vacant lot toward the rear of Staples Street started hollering about a dead body. He said he walked over and saw remains and a pool of blood.
White, 49, had lived at Crosswinds Motel and Cottages on East Grand Avenue since September, said owner Eunice Marquis.
“He was always respectful, quiet, extremely nice, and I understand from my other tenants, he was very good about helping others,” said Marquis at the motel office Sunday afternoon. Marquis said she believes White worked in the construction industry.
White’s sister, Cheryl Boucher, told The Portland Press Herald her brother was a well-liked, lifelong resident of town.
She says he made a living doing odd jobs for contractors. He was one of five children and had two grown daughters of his own.
Friend Bob Bertrand said White was among the crew members who had worked on his properties. Bertrand described White as a “likable guy” with lots of friends and who often was seen downtown.
“He was sort of a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, he was a presence downtown,” said Bertrand.
One of White’s friends at nearby bar The Whaler says White was a gentle soul who had no enemies.
People walking on Old Orchard Street on Saturday afternoon seemed to take little notice of the fire engines and police vehicles parked in the right-hand driving lane. They strolled the sidewalks, shopping or heading down toward The Pier, enjoying the sunny day.
On Sunday, the overcast showery weather kept people off the street, all of the law enforcement vehicles had gone, and just one strip of yellow police tape remained.
Police continue to try to determine what led to White’s death.
“He was a nice man and that should not have happened to him,” said Marquis Sunday. “He never caused a bit of trouble, he never caused a problem.
“I felt so bad.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report. To see more from the Journal Tribune, visit journaltribune.com.