WESTBROOK – Relatives of a Westbrook woman found dead Thursday inside her vehicle at the Motel 6 parking lot in Portland say they are waiting for answers about the killing.

Although an autopsy Friday by the state medical examiner determined that Margarita “Rita” Fisenko Scott, 29, was a homicide victim, Scott’s family still had no information about the cause of death Sunday afternoon. All they knew was that her body had been found inside her Chevrolet TrailBlazer, which had at least one tire slashed.

“There are a lot of questions. We all want answers. There is so little truth,” said Alla Sherstyukov of Westbrook, one of Scott’s cousins.

The family said that based on bits of information they received from police, they suspect Scott had been dead for some time before her body was discovered.

They speculated that her body may have been driven in the SUV from another location. They do not know how long the SUV had been parked at Motel 6 on Riverside Street.

“We hope it went really fast and she didn’t suffer. If we knew the facts, it would help us understand,” said Rita Hillard, one of Scott’s cousins.

Portland police have released little information about the homicide, the first in the city this year, and police Lt. Scott Pelletier released no new information Sunday.

Earlier in the weekend, Pelletier said the investigation was in the beginning stages. Investigators were putting together a timeline of events surrounding the homicide. Pelletier said he did not expect to release any further details for at least several days.

Scott was part of a large and close-knit family who emigrated in stages from Kazakhstan to the Portland area starting about two decades ago.

Her parents, Vladimir and Larisa Fisenko of Westbrook, said they knew something was wrong when she didn’t call them at Christmas and New Year’s, and grew even more worried last week when she didn’t call her beloved grandmother, known as Baba within the family, on her birthday Tuesday.

“She has taken it the hardest. Baba loved her most,” said Sherstyukov.

Scott’s parents said they had been in almost daily contact with their daughter, who would drop by to help them around the house. It was unusual for her to not stay in touch, the parents said.

“Everybody was having really bad dreams,” Hillard said.

Family members said Scott’s husband, Cary Scott, had reported the SUV missing to police.

They described Margarita Scott as trusting and naive, with an open heart. She moved to Maine at age 14 and graduated from Portland High School, where she would sing and dance in talent shows. She also played the piano.

Scott had been active in the First Russian Baptist Church in Gorham, but she drifted away at some point.

“She had some of the Russian soul,” said Sergey Fisenko of Scarborough, her uncle.

A personal care assistant, she would sometimes show up at big family parties with an elderly client in tow.

“She was very outgoing, very straightforward. It was hard to be sad around her,” said Denis Stikin, another cousin.

Scott and her husband married last summer after a longtime relationship. The family said her husband, a mechanic, was devoted to her. He has family in Maine and Florida, where the couple lived at one point.

The family is planning a memorial service, but details are still being worked out.

They said Scott, who is also survived by a brother, will be missed by the many people who knew her.

“She was a daughter, a granddaughter, a cousin and niece, and was cared for by many,” Hillard said. 

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

bquimby@pressherald.com