PORTLAND — Police are investigating to determine what caused the deaths of a couple whose bodies were found Tuesday in an apartment in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood.

Police said there was no evidence of a shooting at 257-259 Oxford St., but they declined to be more specific. Autopsies will be done today by the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta.

Investigators believe the couple were married, said Lt. Gary Rogers, the Portland Police Department’s spokesman. No children were living in the apartment.

“There is a whole realm of possibilities,” Rogers said Tuesday evening. “Hopefully, we can get some answers tomorrow.”

Rogers said police were called to the three-story apartment building around 12:20 p.m. for a report of an unattended death.

The building is on the same block as the Salvation Army headquarters, and diagonally across the street from the Preble Street Resource Center. Tenants said there are 17 units in the building.

A maintenance worker, who may have been collecting rent checks, discovered the bodies and notified police, Rogers said.

The couple’s names were withheld Tuesday night while authorities notified their relatives. Neighbors said the man was in his 30s and the woman was in her 20s.

Two tenants at 257-259 Oxford St. said the man who died was known to them as Angel. They said they had heard nothing unusual from the couple’s apartment in the past couple of days.

Jeremy Johnson has lived in the building for three years. He lived next to the couple. He said the man he knew as Angel, who used to be a mechanic, fixed the brakes on his car.

He said the couple were unemployed. “They fought all the time,” Johnson said. “The walls aren’t very thick around here.”

About a week ago, Johnson said, the couple got into a heated argument on the sidewalk outside the apartment building and he heard the woman yell, “I’m going to kill you.”

Richard Allen, another tenant of the building, said, “They had their differences, but they were trying to fix things.”

Allen said he was friendly with Angel but did not know his last name.

“He was always a person who made you feel good. He always had good advice to offer,” Allen said.

Allen, who has lived in the building for eight months, said the deaths pushed him beyond his comfort zone. He said it is time for him to move.

“It’s the whole neighborhood,” he said. “You see drug dealing going on all the time. The cops don’t do anything about it. They wait until something like this happens before they get involved.”

Police are encouraging anyone with information about the couple’s deaths to call 874-8533. The anonymous tip line is 874-8584. Residents may also text a tip by texting the keyword “GOTCHA” plus their message to 274637 (CRIMES).

 

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at [email protected]