Police arrested an Old Orchard Beach man Tuesday and charged him with murder in the slaying of his roommate.

Dustan Bentley, 40, was charged with killing William Popplewell, 65, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said in a news release Tuesday night. Popplewell died from stabbing and blunt force trauma, according to an autopsy report by the state Medical Examiner’s Office.

“The two have known each other from previous stays at the Oxford Street Shelter in Portland,” McCausland said. “They have been living in an apartment at 5 Boisvert Street in Old Orchard Beach for the past two months.”

Bentley was being held without bail in the York County Jail on Tuesday night pending his initial appearance in York County Superior Court at 1 p.m. Wednesday, McCausland said.

State police discovered Popplewell’s body at the Ocean Condos building around 10:30 p.m. Monday after receiving a phone call from Bentley’s mother, who lives in North Carolina, Lt. Mark Holmquist told reporters at the scene Tuesday.

Holmquist, who is leading the state police investigation, did not explain how Bentley’s mother knew that her son’s roommate was dead.


The men met about two years ago at the city’s largest homeless shelter, but it was not clear how they ended up in the Old Orchard Beach apartment, Holmquist said.

Holmquist said that detectives interviewed Bentley at the Old Orchard Beach police station on Tuesday, and arrested him around 6 p.m.

Bentley and Popplewell lived in a two-story, multi-unit apartment building located just steps from the beach. The building is surrounded by condominiums and hotels that are typically full and bustling with activity in the summer.

This time of year, it’s a different story.

“It’s very quiet around here,” said Susan Croteau, who was taking her dog for a walk on the beach Tuesday afternoon. She said she and her family are staying in a nearby condominium owned by her brother-in law while their home is under construction this winter.

She said that although the units in the buildings on Boisvert Street are typically seasonal rentals, the people she’s seen living in the neighborhood this winter have been long-term winter renters.

Journal Tribune Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf contributed to this report.

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