GARDINER, Maine — The son of a 56-year-old Gardiner man whose remains were found in Richmond on Monday morning has been charged with murder in connection with his death.
Maine State Police late Tuesday afternoon charged Leroy Smith III, 24, with murdering his father, Leroy Smith II, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday.
The state medical examiner’s office determined the father died “from multiple sharp force injuries,” McCausland said Tuesday in a release. Investigators believe Leroy Smith II was killed in the Cannard Street apartment the father and son shared, and his body was taken to a wooded area off Lincoln Street in Richmond, where it was discovered early Monday morning.
McCausland said Leroy Smith III is expected in court to face the murder charge later this week.
Smith remained in Cumberland County Jail on Tuesday, held on a fugitive-from-justice warrant from Westborough, Massachusetts. The warrant charged that Leroy Smith III violated a protection-from-harassment order obtained by his landlord in October, Westborough Police Chief Alan Gordon said Tuesday
He was arrested early Monday morning on Main Street in Westbrook. At the time, he provided police with information that led Sagadahoc County sheriff’s deputies to search for and locate his father’s remains off Lincoln Street in Richmond. The remains were found about eight miles from the Cannard Street apartment.
On Monday and Tuesday, agents from the state police Major Crimes Unit searched the apartment the father and son shared. Neighbors said the two had lived there for about six months. On Monday evening, investigators removed cushions from a dumpster in the apartment’s parking lot.
The younger Smith was well-known to Westborough police, according to Gordon, who described him as someone who “definitely has some mental health issues.”
In September, Smith allegedly became involved in a fistfight after claiming he was God, according to Gordon, and was later found pouring gasoline on a fire he’d allegedly ignited to burn a guitar and amplifier.
“He claimed he was burning evil music,” Gordon said.
On Monday afternoon, Lt. Christopher Coleman of the state police Major Crimes Unit, described the case as “extremely fast-paced and extremely complicated.” At the time, Coleman declined to release many details and did not reply to questions about whether Leroy Smith II had been reported missing. He made a point of describing what searchers found as “human remains.”