ELLSWORTH, Maine — Officials plan to conduct an autopsy on a local man who was found floating Wednesday in Green Lake to determine how he died, according to local police.
The body of Richard Garland, 53, was recovered from the lake after witnesses reporting seeing it around 2:30 p.m., Ellsworth police Chief Christopher Coleman indicated Thursday morning in a prepared statement.
Coleman said the incident is an “apparent drowning.” Garland was about not far from shore and was unresponsive, he said.
Medical personnel with County Ambulance, and Ellsworth police Officer Bart Tokas, Detective Dotty Small, Lt. Harold Page and Coleman responded to the scene, but efforts to revive Garland were unsuccessful, the chief indicated.
Notification to the next of kin has been made, Coleman said. The state medical examiner’s office will examine the body to determine the cause and manner of death, he added.
Garland was physically disabled and alternately used crutches or a wheelchair to get around. Page said Thursday afternoon that a pair of metal crutches were found on the bottom of the lake just off the end of a dock, about 15 feet away from where Garland’s body was spotted floating Wednesday afternoon.
Page said Garland’s family owns cabins on Lakewood Way near where the dock is located.
“We believe it to be accidental,” Page said of Garland’s death.
Garland is a former candidate for the local city council, having run unsuccessfully in 2002 and 2005, who also ran the Free Christian Society and Church out of his home on nearby Gary Moore Road.
Garland was arrested by local police in October 2001 after he became involved in a standoff with an excavator operator outside his home. Garland claimed the city was violating his rights by digging a drainage ditch next to his house, which he claimed had an adverse impact on the use and enjoyment of his property.