A Portland man who had been missing for more than two months died from blunt force trauma consistent with being struck by a large vehicle, an autopsy revealed.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office determined that 57-year-old Edward Blumenthal may have been struck by a vehicle, possibly a truck, while he was walking along Congress Street near the Fore River crossing in the Stroudwater neighborhood of Portland.

The disclosure that Blumenthal, a longtime city resident, had been hit and left by the road was made Thursday in a statement issued by the Portland Police Department. No accident was ever reported and police are treating his death as a hit-and-run.

A department spokesman said that until investigators can interview the driver, it would be speculative to say whether criminal charges will be filed.

Blumenthal’s body was discovered Tuesday afternoon by a utility worker near an office building occupied by Regency Mortgage and Sierra Communications. The worker flagged down a passing police cruiser. Police said Blumenthal’s body was in brush, a short distance off the road. The state conducted an autopsy and the findings were released Thursday by Portland police.

“Evidence suggests that Edward was walking easterly (inbound) on Congress Street just past the Fore River crossing when he was struck by a larger vehicle, possibly a truck, that was traveling in the same direction,” Lt. Robert Martin, the Portland police spokesman, said in a written statement.

VICTIM LIKELY OBSCURED BY LEAFY BRUSH

In response to questions from the Portland Press Herald, Martin said motorists who travel that section of Congress Street – it connects Thompson’s Point with the Portland International Jetport – probably would not have been able to see Blumenthal’s body through the heavy leaf cover.

“The brush was pretty thick and the bushes just recently lost their leaves,” Martin said in an email. “He was about 15 feet off the road, but there was an embankment. It would have been hard even for a pedestrian to see him until those bushes lost their leaves.”

Blumenthal was wearing an orange jacket and blue jeans at the time of his death.

Martin also confirmed that investigators have been searching for video surveillance that may have captured the accident, but he added: “Unfortunately, most systems retain 30 days in a best-case scenario. We are 60 days out.”

Investigators were able to recover Blumenthal’s cellphone, which remained active until it lost power at 7:51 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 10.

“We are working with the cellphone carrier to interpret data from his device’s record,” Martin said. “We have his phone and will be examining it to gather more information about the timing (of his death).”

‘HE LIKED TO WALK,’ SAYS HIS MOTHER

Blumenthal was last seen alive on Sept. 9. Security video showed him walking out of his apartment at 30 Preble St.

He did not own a car and was known to walk the city often.

His family reported him missing on Sept. 28. He had not accessed any bank accounts and had not called anyone or answered his cellphone since he disappeared.

His parents, Margaret and Harry Blumenthal, live in Yarmouth. He was close to his mother, whom he called on a regular basis.

“I was his best friend,” his mother said.

Margaret Blumenthal said Edward was the youngest of three sons. His brothers are deceased. Edward’s wife died several years ago and he has two adult children.

Much of his career was spent working in the sign industry, his mother said, in both manufacturing and sales. He retired about four years ago.

Blumenthal grew up in Pittsburgh before his family moved to Maine.

“My son was a friendly person, a real people person,” she said. “He liked to walk, to meet people and to talk to them. It was a tragedy and he is going to be missed horribly.”

Police said their investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information that could assist detectives is asked to call the Portland Police Traffic Division at 874-8908.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

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Twitter: PPHEricRussell

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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