A man arrested early Thursday morning in Monmouth on a drunken-driving charge died a few hours later on the Kennebec River Rail Trail in Gardiner, the victim of an apparent suicide.

Police vehicles blocked off the popular rail trail for about two hours as the incident was investigated.

Maine State Police Sgt. Patrick Hood said Ronnie Harrington, 46, of Farmingdale, had been driven home by a family member after being released on bail.

“We’re guessing within 30 minutes or so, he sent Facebook comments and texts to friends saying he was in a difficult spot and couldn’t deal with things and was armed with a handgun,” Hood said.

Harrington then went to an area of the rail trail near the Farmingdale Town Office and shot himself, Hood said, an event confirmed by two witnesses on the trail.

Police were called at 5:07 a.m. Thursday.

Monmouth Police Chief Brian Mulherin said Harrington was arrested on suspicion of operating under the influence at 2:15 a.m. Thursday as he was driving a 2013 Honda sedan on U.S. Route 202 in Monmouth.

Mulherin said Harrington was taken to the Winthrop Police Department for a breath-alcohol test, and bail was set at $100 cash.

Mulherin said Harrington had 13 prior motor vehicle convictions on unspecified charges and six suspensions.

Harrington’s body was taken to Staples Funeral Home in Gardiner.

The state of Maine offers a Statewide Crisis Hotline at 888-568-1112 for people at risk of suicide as well as friends and family members. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also is available at 800-273-8255.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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