FARMINGTON — Neighbors said Larry Decker was a quiet, shy man who kept to himself, but always took the time to say hello.

Early Monday morning, Decker was found dead in his house at 202 Maple Ave. — along with the body of another person, believed to be a young woman.

Police on Monday weren’t releasing much information about the pair, including their names or how they died, saying they were waiting until the bodies were positively identified and next of kin were notified.

“State police are doing a lot of the investigating, just because of the nature of it, to make sure there isn’t any foul play or anything like that,” Farmington police Detective Marc Bowering said Monday afternoon at the police station.

But Ann Bryant, who lives next door to Decker’s house, identified him as one of the people who were found dead. Bryant said Decker had had a house guest the last few days, a young woman.

Bryant, a staff writer for the Lewiston Sun Journal, described Decker as being 55 to 58 years old; she estimated the woman who had been staying with him was 20 or 21.

“I’ve known Larry all my life,” Bryant said Monday at her home. “I played with him as a kid. He was very shy and quiet and he’s a very nice guy.”

She said Decker grew up in the neighborhood and moved away, but moved back after his mother died, eight or nine years ago. Bryant said she has lived in her house seven years.

“He’s got a couple of kids who must be just devastated — and grandchildren,” she said. “My heart goes out to the family.”

Decker’s small, white house with black shutters sits on a hill in a quiet neighborhood, where homes are neatly kept and lawns well-trimmed.

Two vehicles were parked in Decker’s yard Monday: a small, silver four-door Chevrolet sedan and a champagne-colored GMC Sierra pickup truck with a plow.

Next door, 80-year-old Glenys Gifford was holding and patting her black-and-white cat, Mycat, as a man raked leaves on her lawn.

“I was just shocked at the whole thing,” Gifford said of the deaths. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Gifford said Decker kept to himself but if they were outside, he’d acknowledge her and say, “Hello.”

“He was nice enough, but he struck me as a person who enjoyed being by himself,” she said.

At 1:15 a.m., police were called to investigate a possible suicidal person on Maple Avenue, according to a Farmington press release issued Monday. Police found two people dead at the home.

Bryant said she did not see or hear anything next door early in the morning, but at 6:30 a.m., her dog, Molly, a beagle-blue tick hound mix, acted as though she wanted to go out but would not. Bryant heard a motor running and that’s when she saw police and a funeral home vehicle outside her house.

Because Monday was a holiday, administrative offices at the University of Maine at Farmington were closed. A man who opened the door at the UMF Facilities Management building on Farmington Falls Road declined to comment, but said Decker worked there and was a “great guy, nice guy. He was a friend to everybody.”

The police press release said Farmington and state police, as well as the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, are investigating the deaths.

A woman who answered the phone at the medical examiner’s office Monday afternoon said the office was closed for the holiday and no information would be released Monday.

Bowering, who said he is assisting on the case, said state police Detective Randall Keaten also is investigating. A call placed to Keaten was not returned, but a state police dispatcher said Keaten recommended calling Farmington police.

The investigation is ongoing and additional information will be released as it becomes available, according to the press release.

A call placed to UMF spokeswoman April Mulherin Monday afternoon seeking comment on Decker was not returned. The campus police office was closed but later, a man who answered the phone there said he had no information on the case.

Amy Calder — 861-9247
[email protected]

 

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