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July 15, 2012

Police: China man's death 'suspicious'

By Betty Adams
Staff Writer

CHINA —  State police are investigating what they termed a “suspicious” death  Friday night of James Dodge.

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This morning, State Police investigate the death of James Dodge that occurred Friday night at 324 Hanson Road in China.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

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Additional Photos Below

Dodge, 38, was taken from his home by ambulance MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta where he died, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police.

An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta.

A statement from McCausland said police were called to Dodge’s home at 324 Hanson Road about 9 p.m. Friday, and three other people who were in the home at the time are cooperating with the investigation.
No charges were filed as of today, and police remained at the scene investigating.

“The goal is to figure out what happened and figure out the circumstances,” said Lt. Christopher Coleman, who was working at Dodge’s home.

Coleman said local troopers responded to the 911 call, and they called in the major crimes unit about 10 p.m.

He also said it did not appear there was a continuing risk to public safety.

Coleman said he always encourages residents to take normal precautions. “Nothing that occurred (Friday) night would cause me to tell them to increase precautions,” he said.

The Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit van was parked in the dirt driveway near a red Ford Escort wagon. All four doors were open on the compact vehicle, and a small pile of discarded blue beer cans was near the driveway, next to a pile of lumber.

Records in the Kennebec County Registry of Deeds indicate the home is owned by Rebecca Bragg, and police and others indicated she  was Dodge’s girlfriend.

On Saturday, the door was wide open at the side entrance of the 1 1/2-story gray clapboard home. Curtains were closed on a large front window, and a collection of brown, green and clear bottles was displayed on the sill.

The driveway was taped off with yellow crime scene tape, and uniformed evidence technicians wearing blue booties carried items to the van.

Dodge worked at odd jobs, said Erica Hamel, whose home is down the road. She said the families were acquainted.

“They gave us wreaths at Christmas,” she said. “They’d stop in and we’d give them eggs, and once he left a basketball on the porch for my kids.”
Kennebec Journal archives indicate that Dodge had been in court for misdemeanor offenses over the past few years, most recently in May.

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Additional Photos

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This Kennebec County Sherrif's Office photo of James Dodge is from February 2011.


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