PORTLAND — A 19-year-old man from Far Rockaway, N.Y., has been charged with murdering Margarita Fisenko Scott, the Westbrook woman whose body was found in a sport utility vehicle in a motel parking lot in January — at least six weeks after she was killed, police said.
Portland police said Wednesday that Scott, 29, was killed in November by a single gunshot and they have charged Anthony Pratt, who was arrested Tuesday in New York City.
Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said Scott was shot in November in a first-floor apartment at 266 West Concord St. in Portland. He would not be specific about when the shooting occurred.
He said Pratt and Scott, who had recently separated from her husband, were dating and stayed in the apartment occasionally, although neither one was a tenant.
It’s not clear where Scott’s body was from the time she died until it was discovered Jan. 17 by her estranged husband, Cary Scott, in the parking of the Motel 6 on Riverside Street.
Sauschuck said police are trying to put together a time line of events to determine, among other details, when the red 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer that the Scotts shared was left in the parking lot with her body in it.
Police Lt. Scott Pelletier said it appeared that the SUV was in the parking lot for an “extended time,” but he would not be specific about how long.
Sauschuck said a friend of Cary Scott spotted the SUV in the parking lot in mid-January. Cary Scott then went to the lot and found the vehicle covered in snow. He brushed off the snow, got into the vehicle and then saw his wife’s body in the back.
Sauschuck said the motive for her killing is still unclear, but could include “domestic violence overtones as well as drug-related activities.”
Pelletier said law enforcement officials focused their attention on Pratt a few weeks after Scott’s body was discovered, based on physical evidence and interviews they had with Pratt. He said Pratt voluntarily came to Maine from New York for his first interview.
On Tuesday, Pelletier said, Pratt agreed to meet Portland detectives at a New York police precinct house. After he was questioned again, he was arrested on a Maine warrant charging him with murder.
Scott’s family started looking for her before the Christmas holidays. They contacted police in Westbrook and Portland, although no missing-person report was filed.
Even though they were separated, Cary and Margarita Fisenko Scott were in fairly regular contact and shared the SUV, Pelletier said.
After she dropped out of sight, Cary Scott, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, remained diligent about trying to find her, police said.
Sauschuck said police determined that Cary Scott was not involved in his wife’s death. Other family members could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Sauschuck said Pratt traveled frequently between Portland and New York, but police have not yet determined his exact connection to Maine. Pratt did not have a fixed address in New York, and none of his family members could be found.
Sauschuck said the handgun that Pratt allegedly used in the shooting was stolen in a robbery in central Maine, then brought to Portland and sold in a parking lot. He would not say whether Pratt was the buyer.
Pelletier said Portland police had not been told by late Wednesday whether Pratt had appeared in court in New York for an extradition hearing, or when such a hearing would be held.
If Pratt does not contest being sent back to Maine, or if a New York court approves extradition, he will be transferred from the city’s central booking site to another facility in New York until his transportation to Maine is arranged.
Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: