Washington County man dies after being found unresponsive in Ellsworth alley

Posted Jan. 11, 2012, at 1:05 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 11, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Washington County man died Wednesday morning in Ellsworth after being found lying on the ground in a downtown alleyway, according to police.

The deceased man has been identified as Ronald J. LaCasse, 64, of Machias, police indicated in an incident report.

Police were alerted to the body at 7:05 a.m. by an employee reporting to work at Maine Shellfish Co. LaCasse was found on the ground between two Maine Shellfish buildings off Pine Street, police indicated.

“It appeared the male was sleeping or passed out,” Ellsworth police Officer Chris Smith wrote in the report.

Police do not know how long LaCasse may have been in the alleyway before he was found.

County Ambulance responded to the scene and took LaCasse to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, where he later died of hypothermia, according to Smith.

Temperatures in the area were around 10 degrees at the time LaCasse was found, according to data collected and posted online by the National Weather Service.

According to Ellsworth police Lt. Harold Page, LaCasse was wearing jeans, sneakers, a T-shirt and a zip-up sweater when he was found.

Page said early Wednesday afternoon that officers have determined LaCasse had been staying at the Emmaus Homeless Shelter and was there until noon the day before he was found. Police are checking local businesses to see where he may have been between then and when he was found in the alley, he said.

The medical examiner’s office has been notified and is investigating the death, the office indicated.

Further information about the incident was not immediately available early Wednesday afternoon.

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