by Sarah Craighead Dedmon
The Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit is investigating the death of a 17-year-old boy as a homicide, according to Lieutenant Darrin Crane, who led a press conference today, Nov. 5, on the steps of the Washington County Sheriff's Office on Court Street.
Because the victim is a juvenile, their name will not be released.
Multiple people living on and around High Street in Machias reported hearing gunshots just after midnight on Thursday, Nov. 4. At that time, deputies were dispatched to the area but did not see any suspicious vehicles or people. The next morning at 7:52 a.m., a resident exited their home to discover the body and called the police.
High Street and the Court Street cemetery were shut down to through traffic yesterday, Nov. 4, as law enforcement conducted their investigation using a mobile crime lab and drone photography.
Crane said an autopsy was performed today which led to the determination of homicide but declined to release further details on the cause of death or other aspects of the open investigation.
"There is no ongoing public threat," said Crane. "But we are asking the public to be vigilant in their surroundings."
Law enforcement asks for the public's help in gathering information about the crime. Anyone who has details to share should call 207-973-3000 and leave a message for detective Chad Lindsey.
Standing with Chief Deputy Michael Crabtree of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, which has aided in the investigation, Crane said Machias Police Chief Keith Mercier has also been "a valuable resource in our investigation" but was unable to attend today.