AUGUSTA — A New York man is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday on a charge of murder following a homicide investigation on Washington Street, where neighbors reported hearing loud thudding sounds Monday night coming from a fourth-floor apartment followed by a large police response.

Killed inside the apartment was Joseph Marceau, 31, a resident of Winthrop Street in Augusta, police said Tuesday evening.

An autopsy was performed Tuesday, but no cause of death was released.

Marceau’s relatives were told of his death Tuesday evening.

State and Augusta police continued to search for the two occupants of the apartment where the body was found Tuesday night.

Police say Marceau was found dead Monday night inside the apartment at 75 Washington St. when police responded to a report of a disturbance there about 8 p.m., according to a news release from the Maine State Police.

Damik Davis, 25, of New York, is being held at the Kennebec County jail on a charge of murder. He is expected to make an initial court appearance Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center.

Police were at the apartment all night collecting evidence, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police, and state and city police vehicles remained there Tuesday.

An autopsy of the victim’s body was performed Tuesday at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta, according to Mark Belserene, office administrator. He said the office would not be releasing any other information, because the case remains under investigation.

McCausland said after the victim was found, a search of the neighborhood by police, aided by a state police dog, located Davis a short time later. He then was taken into custody.

According to records from New York state, Davis was convicted of robbery in Queens County, New York, and remains under parole supervision for that offense.

Later Tuesday morning, McCausland said police were looking for Sean McQuade, 45, and Zena Fritze, 27, who lived in the apartment where the dead man was found. McQuade also is known as Michael Sean McQuade.

“Detectives say they need to locate the two for questioning and to check on their well-being,” McCausland said. “They have not been seen since Monday.”

On Tuesday morning the four-story, white apartment building and its parking lot were blocked off with yellow police tape.

Residents and neighbors gathered outside in the cold, talking to one another and to various news media representatives.

When the light fixtures in their third-floor apartment started shaking because of thudding in the apartment above theirs about 8 p.m. Monday, Timothy and Kelly Lane called 911.

“We thought it was maybe a domestic dispute and called police,” Lane said.

Lane, who lives with his wife, Kelly, and their two children, said police responded to their call immediately.

“We knew right away it was bad,” Timothy Lane said. “The whole block was shut off.”

Cindy Clark, who lives with her granddaughter on the building’s first floor, said, “It’s scary.”

Neither they nor others who lived in the building said they knew of Davis, but they said that a number of visitors frequented the eight-unit building, which houses eight school-age children and some younger ones.

However, they did know Fritze and McQuade and said they had not seen them Tuesday. They also said no children were living with the couple in their fourth-floor apartment.

The Lanes and others said they believed the couple was due to move out Tuesday because they had been served with an eviction notice. Records at the Capital Judicial Center show that the landlord, Kane Coffin, had obtained a writ of possession Nov. 12 for the premises and a court order saying the couple had to move out within 48 hours of receiving the notice.

In seeking the writ, Coffin said he wanted to terminate the lease for nonpayment of rent and that the couple owed $8,303.

A separate filing in the same court indicated McQuade and Fritze’s monthly rent for the three-bedroom unit was $800.

Samarali Daniels, who lives on the building’s second floor with her four children, said she heard a loud thudding sound on the building’s back stairs about 10 minutes before the arrival of Augusta police.

“It sounded like someone coming down really loudly or throwing something down the stairs,” she said.

Police told her to gather her children in one of the bedrooms until it was determined that the building was cleared and safe.

The residents said they heard no gunshots or anything that would lead them to believe someone had been shot.

Kelly Lane and Daniels said they each have reported to police that they believed there was illegal drug activity in the building. They said the situation had been improving until some new tenants moved in.

Augusta police Deputy Chief Jared Mills said via email that police have received reports of illegal drugs on Washington Street, but he would need to search further to see whether any of those calls were related to 75 Washington St.

McCausland indicated about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday that no more information was available about whether any drugs were at the scene.

On May 9, Augusta police reported arresting Fritze, then identified as Zina Fritze-McQuade, and Michael Sean McQuade, then 44. The two were charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer after police responded to a report of a burglary in progress on Kendall Street.

No complaint was filed in the case against Michael Sean McQuade, and his $1,500 cash bail was refunded.

There was no court record of any charge stemming from that incident relating to Zina Fritze. However, Augusta court records show she was convicted previously of theft and operating after suspension.

 

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

 

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