CHINA — State police are investigating what they termed a suspicious death Friday night.

James Dodge, 38, was taken from his home by ambulance to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, where he died, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

An autopsy is scheduled for today at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta.

McCausland said police were called to Dodge’s home at 324 Hanson Road about 9 p.m. Friday. Three other people were in the home at the time and are cooperating with the investigation.

No charges were filed as of Saturday morning and police remained at the scene investigating.

“The goal is to figure out what happened and figure out the circumstances,” said Lt. Christopher Coleman, who was on the scene at Dodge’s home Saturday.

Coleman said local troopers responded to a 911 call from the home, which came in at about 9:05 p.m. Those troopers then called in the major crimes unit.

He said there did not appear to be a risk to public safety. Coleman said he always encourages residents to take normal precautions. “Nothing that occurred (Friday) night would cause me to tell them to increase precautions,” he said.

On Saturday, the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit van was parked in the dirt driveway near a red Ford Escort wagon. All four doors were open on the compact vehicle, and there was a small pile of blue beer cans near the driveway, next to a pile of lumber.

Records in the Kennebec County Registry of Deeds indicate the home is owned by Rebecca Bragg, and police and others said she is Dodge’s girlfriend.

On Saturday, the door was wide open at the side entrance of the 1 1/2-story gray clapboard home. Curtains were closed on a large front window, and a collection of brown, green and clear bottles was displayed on the sill.

The driveway was taped off with yellow crime scene tape and uniformed evidence technicians wearing blue booties carried items to the van.

Dodge worked at odd jobs, said Erica Hamel, whose home is down the road. She said the families were acquainted.

“They gave us wreaths at Christmas,” she said. “They’d stop in and we’d give them eggs, and once he left a basketball on the porch for my kids.”

According to Kennebec Journal archives, Dodge had been in court for misdemeanor offenses over the past few years, most recently in May.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

 

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