BDN photo by John Clarke Russ Local police are investigating the death of a 55-year-old man who was staying with family at 446 North Main St., according to Brewer Police Chief Perry Antone. Police tape (shown) cordoned the perimeter of the multi-unit building late Sunday morning as investigators worked to determine the cause of death. Credit: John Clarke Russ

A body found Thursday in Jonesport is believed to be that of a man who went missing last July, according to police.

Maine State Police said Friday that items found with the body, which was located by searchers off Route 187 in Jonesport near Wilders Way, lead them to believe it is William Merchant, 43. Merchant had been unaccounted for since he was last seen on July 4 in the Jonesport area. He was reported missing July 8.

Details on what sorts of items were found with the body were unavailable Friday, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for Maine Department of Public Safety.

Searchers on Thursday included police dogs and members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Maine Warden Service, state police and community volunteers.

An autopsy was completed Friday at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta and no determination was made on the cause of the death because of the condition of the remains, McCausland said.

“Detectives say there was no evidence of foul play,” he said.

Additional work will be done at the state police DNA lab to positively identify the remains as being Merchant, he said.

Bill Trotter

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....