PORTLAND — Police interviewed witnesses and gathered evidence Tuesday in the fatal stabbing of a 47-year-old Portland man, but said little about what led to his death.

Carlos Ramos died at Maine Medical Center, where he was taken after the stabbing around 7 p.m. Monday in his apartment at 991 Forest Ave.

An autopsy Tuesday determined that Ramos died from a single stab wound to the chest. Police would not release the state medical examiner’s conclusion on the manner of death, such as whether it was self-inflicted, accidental or intentionally caused by another person.

“It’s like any case like this,” said Lt. Gary Rogers, head of detectives for Portland police. “You want to get everything together and come up with some answers and make some decisions about what direction to go.”

Rogers would not elaborate on the circumstances of the stabbing or whether police plan to bring charges.

Neighbors said Ramos was involved with a woman and that their relationship was marred by drinking and violence.

“He was a happy-go-lucky person, except for when he drank,” said Kathy Hunt, who lives in an apartment in the long row of units where Ramos resided. After a few beers, he would become belligerent, she said.

Other neighbors said Ramos had a large welt on his head earlier this month, and told them he got it when his girlfriend hit him on the head with a beer bottle.

Mike Hanson, who lives in an apartment on the opposite side of the complex, said he overheard Ramos’ girlfriend talking to police after the stabbing.

“She said he scared her. She had a knife. They were saying it was an accident,” Hanson said.

Gordon Murphy, another neighbor, said Ramos constantly criticized his girlfriend and hit her on several occasions, but she never went to the police or left him.

Several neighbors said Ramos traveled, and though he had been in the apartment on Forest Avenue for a couple of years, he had lived in Florida, Chicago and Oakland, Calif.

Neighbors also said police had come to the apartment several times to break up fights.

Farid Habibzai described himself as a friend of Ramos. He often saw Ramos and his girlfriend because he visited their next-door neighbors regularly.

Habibzai said he asked Ramos recently about bruises on his face, and Ramos said his girlfriend had beaten him up.

On Tuesday, Habibzai was shaken and remorseful. He said he was watching his son’s soccer practice Monday evening, when the stabbing occurred. Had he visited the apartment building instead, he said, his friend might be alive.

“If I could have, I would have saved him,” Habibzai said. “He was a tough guy but he didn’t bother nobody.”


Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]