WATERVILLE — Lexxi T. Sironen “would’ve helped anybody,” according to her friend Chelsea Letourneau, and “loved her life.”

Letourneau and others described Sironen as a kind and devoted friend as police continued Thursday to investigate the cause of the 43-year-old’s death after her body was recovered Tuesday morning from the Kennebec River. The body was found in the water near the Brookfield Power Facility on Water Street.

Both Waterville police and Maine State Police are still investigating, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is running more tests to determine the cause of death, officials said.

“It breaks my heart that this happened to her,” Letourneau said, adding that she had last seen Sironen about six days earlier, on Sept. 1.

Sironen was identified by police as a transient. She sometimes stayed down by the riverfront, where there are some transient and homeless encampments, Deputy Chief Bill Bonney said Thursday.

“Transient doesn’t mean homeless,” he said, clarifying that Sironen appeared to move around and stay in different places.

A family member who did not want to be identified said Thursday that Sironen’s home was with her in the Skowhegan area. Sironen previously lived on Bellevue Street in Winslow and Elm Street in Waterville, according to police and court records.

Sironen had been visiting friends in Waterville during last week, the family member said.

Jason Stephenson also said that Sironen had been staying with her mother. Stephenson, 40, said he’d known Sironen for a few years and he has lived in her former Waterville apartment for about a year now. She often stayed with him when she visited Waterville, he said.

Stephenson said some people still thought Sironen lived in that apartment and would come looking for her.

Around 10 p.m. Monday, the day before Sironen’s body was found, Stephenson reported to Waterville police that his apartment had been invaded and he had been assaulted while he was in bed. He said he thinks the alleged assailants thought he was Sironen because they couldn’t see him.

Thursday afternoon, three days after the attack, he barely could open one of his eyes, which was ringed with a black bruise.

Stephenson remembered Sironen as a good friend who had helped him when he was homeless, letting him stay with her.

“She had a good heart in her,” he said. “And people played on it. She was never out to hurt anybody.”

Multiple people who said they knew Sironen but did not want to give their names said she was a good person who was generous to those around her.

“She’d do anything for anybody,” said Letourneau, who said she knew Sironen for eight years. Sironen gave money to friends if they needed it and helped them in times of need, she said.

Letourneau said she believes that Sironen’s death was not a suicide, even though authorities have yet to release any information on the circumstances of the death. Stephenson also said he didn’t think Sironen would have committed suicide.

“She loved her life,” Letourneau said. “She wanted a life, just like anybody else.”

At an evening sandwich program Wednesday at the Universalist Unitarian Church on Silver Street, another woman who said she knew Sironen but declined to give her name said that Sironen always was trying to help and would give people “the shirt off her back.”

“What happened just wasn’t right,” the woman said.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]almaine.com

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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