Police investigating death of man in Presque Isle taxi

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff
Posted June 26, 2013, at 12:37 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Police are investigating the death of a 44-year-old man visiting the area from Connecticut who died a few minutes after a taxi picked him up at a local motel.

The Presque Isle Police Department, Maine State Police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency are working to piece together what caused the death of Harold St. Pierre, Police Chief Matt Irwin said Wednesday. The department is leading the investigation, and Irwin said that his officers were the first responders to reach the Northern Lights Motel when a call for assistance came in just before 7 a.m. Monday.

According to Irwin, an Aroostook Cab Co. driver arrived at the U.S. Route 1 establishment to pick up St. Pierre from one of the rooms and had only gotten a short distance away when the man began acting strangely. The driver summoned the police and returned to the motel parking lot.

“By the time that an officer arrived, he was dead,” Irwin said, even though the responding officer got there quickly and used an automated external defibrillator in an attempt to revive St. Pierre. “Crown Ambulance arrived a short time later and took over rescue efforts, but there was nothing further that could be done.”

Irwin said that St. Pierre had recently been living in Connecticut but was originally from Van Buren. He had only been at the motel for a day or so and had been staying in the room with a girlfriend, Andrea Paul, 28, who listed a last known address of Caribou.

“She was cleaning the room when we got there and we saw drug paraphernalia,” the chief explained. “She gave us consent to search but then withdrew it.”

Police went to court to secure a search warrant, which they executed on Tuesday. They found more drug paraphernalia, and Paul was charged with violation of conditions of release.

Irwin said Wednesday that both St. Pierre and Paul were known by several local police agencies, which also was confirmed by Caribou Police Chief Michael Gahagan. Both said that St. Pierre was allegedly connected to bath salts users.

“It appears that Mr. St. Pierre also had a significant medical history,” said Irwin. “There was an oxygen tank found in his car, so health problems may have played a role. We are basically trying to piece together the last few weeks of his life.”

The state medical examiner has conducted an autopsy on St. Pierre’s body, but a cause of death has been withheld pending further study, Mark Belserene, a spokesman for the office, explained Wednesday afternoon. He said that toxicology tests and other examinations conducted by the medical examiner could take a month or more to come back.

Presque Isle police Detective Bill Scull is the primary investigator on the case.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/26/news/aroostook/police-investigating-death-of-man-in-presque-isle-taxi/ printed on September 18, 2014