WESTBROOK – Police are seeking a Massachusetts man in connection with a fatal stabbing Thursday night that may have been drug-related.
Police identified Tareek S. Hendricks, 30, of Worcester, Mass., from photographs found on a cellphone that he left behind when he fled 73 Central St. after the stabbing, said Maine State Police Lt. Brian McDonough.
The state Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Friday afternoon that Robert Stubbs, 40, died of multiple stab wounds he sustained at his home about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, McDonough said.
The victim’s wife, Melissa Stubbs, 27, also was stabbed and was being treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland, McDonough said.
“These people were at least associated together and spent a significant time together” before the stabbing, McDonough said Friday afternoon during a news conference outside the Westbrook police station.
Police in Maine confirmed Hendricks’ identity after conferring with police in Massachusetts, according to a news release from Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
Known as “B.K.,” Hendricks has a long criminal record involving violence and likely came to Maine by bus, police said.
“(Hendricks isn’t) from this area,” McDonough said, “but he does come up here frequently.”
Hendricks is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds, police said. He has the word “LIFE” tattooed on the fingers of his left hand.
Police said they believe Hendricks got a ride after the stabbing and was dropped off along Washington Avenue in Portland. The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency is assisting in the investigation.
“We’re looking at the drug involvement of the associates, but it’s not clear that drugs were the motive for the crime,” McDonough said.
A woman who lives across the street from the duplex where Stubbs was stabbed said she saw the confrontation from her bedroom window.
Brenda Manchester said she heard shouting, looked out the window and saw a man dressed in black standing on the porch at Stubbs’ front door.
“He kept saying, ‘Give me my (stuff),’ ” Manchester said. “He said it, like, a dozen times.”
Manchester said the man then turned, ran down the porch stairs and up the street out of view.
When Manchester looked back at Stubbs’ house, the door was closed. Then it opened and Stubbs’ wife was standing in the doorway, talking on the phone and “freaking out,” Manchester said.
Manchester and other neighbors said they thought that Robert Stubbs might have been involved in illegal drug activity.
They also said that Stubbs was a family-oriented father of two children who decorated his house for the holidays, opened his home to neighbors and sometimes repaired their cars.
Ann Watkins, who lives across the street, said Stubbs had lived on Central Street for a few years, was always polite and never caused problems. Other neighbors noted that he recently swept the sidewalk in front of his house, raked the yard and generally kept the property looking nice.
Johnny Price, who lives in the other half of the duplex at 73 Central St., said he heard an argument involving Stubbs, his wife and another man about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, about an hour after Price got home from his second job.
The dispute began on the second floor, continued down the stairway, and ended at the front door, Price said. He heard nothing that sounded like someone had been stabbed or was injured.
“They were telling (the man) to leave and then it calmed down,” Price said. “It was over in five or six minutes. The police were here 10 or 15 minutes later.”
Price said he and Stubbs were friendly and exchanged neighborly favors, sharing coffee or watching each other’s kids playing in the yard. Price said he had suspicions about Stubbs’ past, but they never talked about it. Price said he never saw any drug activity at the house.
“If something like that was going on, Bobby and I would have had words,” Price said. “Bobby didn’t even drink. He was straight with me. I didn’t have any issues with him.”
Price recalled twice seeing a man sitting on the steps, waiting for Stubbs to come home. Price told Stubbs that he didn’t want strangers hanging around the house. Stubbs told Price that the man was a longtime friend who had some psychological problems. Stubbs said he would tell the friend to stay away when he wasn’t at home.
Stubbs worked on Price’s car a few times and planned to go to school to study auto mechanics, Price said. Stubbs had planned to give Price’s car a tuneup on Friday.
Anyone with information about Hendricks should call the Maine State Police at 657-3030 or dial 911.
Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at: