Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Body in the Woods

At the end of August, there was an occurrence in Westbrook that I found out only through mention made of it by Mark LaFlamme, reporter for the Lewiston Sun Journal. I find this interesting, because the Portland Press Herald couldn't be bothered to report it (perhaps they just aren't into reporting any more?), and the only local coverage I could find of it was on WCSH-6 news and in a story at (a pool of regional Maine newspapers) that is now unavailable except in their archive for paid subscribers.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like this would make a bigger splash in the local news world, as reminiscent as it is of a Stephen King story:
Students Find Dead Body Near School in Westbrook
School got off to a frightening start for some elementary school students in Westbrook Wednesday. They discovered a dead body.

School officials say four 2nd-graders chased a ball from the Sacarappa School playground into some nearby woods, and found the body. They thought the person was asleep.

They notified a teacher, who confirmed the person was dead. Police were called in, and the school immediately sought to calm the children.

"Our job has been to make sure the children are OK with it emotionally. We called in our guidance team and a social worker has been with the children all afternoon. We called the parents and have sent letters home to all the children. The children are doing absolutely fine," said Assistant School Superintendent Jan Bretton.

Guidance staff will also be at the school Thursday morning. Police say the death does not appear suspicious.
[Source including video clip]
The following day the story was followed up on in the article mentioned above:
Police identify body found near Westbrook school
by Robert Lowell, Staff WriterAugust 31, 2006
Police have identified the body of a man that was found at about 12:20pm August 30 in the woods behind the ball field at the Saccarappa School in Westbrook. Police say the man was John Allard, 54, of Westbrook. Police said while they don't consider Allard's death suspicious, they are awaiting the results of an autopsy before closing the investigation. Allard's next of kin have been notified, police said.
The sermon blog of the Stevens Avenue Congregational Church here in Portland mentions John's passing, adding the detail that the spot he died on was that of the grave of his much-missed dog. He must have been very lonely without him.

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