RANGELEY — One man died and two others were seriously injured early Thursday during an apparent home invasion on Main Street that might have been drug-related, police said.

The door to the house at 2564 Main St. was open late Thursday morning and smeared with blood as Maine State Police, the Rangeley Police Department and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office investigated.

“These investigations do tend to have elements of drug involvement in them,” Lt. Brian McDonough of the Maine State Police said during a noontime news conference at the crime scene. “We can’t confirm that in this case yet, but that’s obviously one of the things we’re going to be looking into.”

Police said they had not yet identified the man who died or where he was from. They said only that he did not live at the residence. Police had questioned about a dozen people by midday Thursday, but no one was in custody and no charges had been brought.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said detectives were working on processing evidence at the house and an update on the investigation wasn’t expected until Friday morning.

Sue Lind, who operates a bed-and-breakfast across the street, couldn’t recall anyone being killed during the 12 years she has lived in Rangeley.

“It’s awfully sad,” she said. “It’s a very safe town. Kids are always running around, but of course in the summer there’s always an influx of people.”

McDonough said that one of the injured men lived at the residence while the other did not. The incident was reported to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. Police at the scene would not say who made the report.

The two injured men were found “here at the residence or in the general neighborhood” by police and were taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston for treatment of serious injuries, McDonough said. He would not release their names or discuss the nature of their injuries.

An autopsy on the deceased man was underway and no information about the cause or manner of his death was released.

McDonough would not say how many people were involved in the confrontation, but he and other law enforcement officials do not believe there is a risk to the public.

“Rangeley is a safe place,” Rangeley Chief Russell French said. “It is a beautiful place. I agree that these people were more than likely picked out, and the average citizen shouldn’t have problems sleeping at night.”

A Rangeley resident who asked that her name not be used said her cousin lives at the 2564 Main St. house with some other people, and she heard from family members that the residents of the house were awakened around 2 a.m. by someone who “kicked down the door.”

The woman said her cousin, a 22-year-old Rangeley man, was one of the two injured men and said his condition was “pretty bad.”

She wasn’t sure what happened, but like the police, she speculated that it was a drug-related incident.

“In this little town you wouldn’t expect it, but yeah, it’s a bad problem,” she said as she stood near the two-story white wood-frame house on the shore of Rangeley Lake, across the street from a downtown farmers market.

“We have our problems just like anywhere else,” said Deb Zeigler, who owns Moosely Bagels, a nearby cafe that was filled with tourists Thursday morning. Zeigler said she had driven through downtown late Wednesday night and everything was quiet, but when she came to work around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, she saw the blue lights of a police car down the street.

“I thought, ‘Wow it is early for someone to be getting pulled over already,’ and then I realized there was a lot more activity going on,” she said.

Ashley Gray, a Rangeley resident who was working at the farmers market, said “things like this shouldn’t happen anywhere, and especially not in a small town.”
“Regardless of what happened, the sad part is that there are some sad mothers out there today,” he said. “Somebody got the news that their son died.”