Remains found Monday morning in Richmond are those of a Gardiner man who is believed to have died during the weekend.
Maine State Police Lt. Christopher Coleman said the death of Leroy Smith Jr., 56, is suspicious and that his body was found after his son, Leroy Smith III, 24, was arrested on an unrelated warrant in Westbrook.
Smith’s remains were discovered around 6 a.m. Monday by Sagadahoc County sheriff’s deputies and Richmond police, who responded to information provided by Westbrook police.
Coleman would not say what that information was or who provided it, but Westbrook police confirmed that they arrested Smith’s son at 12:30 a.m. Monday on a fugitive-from-justice warrant that was apparently unrelated to the death of the father.
Coleman said nobody has been charged in Smith’s death.
Westbrook police Capt. Mike Nugent said officers there arrested the younger Smith and subsequently got information that led to the body.
“The information was provided to departments up north who confirmed there was in fact a homicide,” Nugent said.
The younger Smith was wanted on a warrant issued by police in Westborough, Massachusetts.
Westborough police Sgt. Steven Reale said it appears from police records that Smith failed to appear in court on charges stemming from a violation of a protection order that occurred in October. Reale could not provide more details.
Smith was held without bail Monday night in the Cumberland County Jail in Portland. Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, would not say whether he is a suspect in his father’s death. “At this point it’s way too early in the investigation to start talking about suspects,” he said.
State police said the father and son lived together in an apartment at 16 Cannard St. in Gardiner.
Coleman said the body was found in woods near the transfer station on Lincoln Street in Richmond, less than 10 miles from the apartment. Investigators spent much of Monday combing the woods in the area where the body was found.
The remains were taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta. State police said Monday night that an autopsy would be done Tuesday. Coleman said police have not yet determined how Smith died, and that his death was still considered suspicious, rather than a homicide, pending a report by the medical examiner.
Police searched the Smiths’ apartment Monday afternoon.
Coleman told reporters Monday afternoon that anyone who spent time with the elder Smith this weekend is asked to call police. He said there is no apparent danger to the area’s residents.
Amy Williams, who lives across the street from the apartment, said the younger Smith was inside a nearby trash bin in the rain Sunday morning, loading items from it into a trash bag.
Williams said he leaned picture frames against the bin. She believed both men were at home at the time.
“I just thought maybe he threw some trash in there and didn’t put it in a bag,” Williams said. “I thought it was kind of odd he was inside the Dumpster.”
She said police arrived at the apartment Monday morning.
Williams said the Smiths moved in about a year ago. She had only passing conversations with the men.
Williams said she last spoke to the son Friday as he smoked a cigarette on the stoop outside his apartment. He remarked on it being a nice day and told Williams he liked to hike in Richmond.
Portland Press Herald Staff Writers David Hench and Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.
Craig Crosby can be contacted at 621-5642 or at: