A man whose body was found on Temple Street in Portland early Sunday morning was the victim of a homicide, police said.

He was identified as Sunao Thomas Yamada, 54, of Portland.

Police Lt. Robert Martin said Monday that the state medical examiner determined Yamada’s death was a homicide, but officials are not disclosing the cause of death.

Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said there is no indication that the public is in danger.

“I would like to believe it’s an isolated incident,” Sauschuck said at a news conference Monday.

Sauschuck said Yamada had lived in Portland for about 20 years, and his family lives in New York and on the West Coast. Martin said Yamada was homeless and often spent time in Monument Square and on nearby Temple Street.


Police believe he was killed after 3:20 a.m. Sunday because he was seen alive about that time with a man described as white, 25 to 30 years old, about 6 feet tall with a thin build and short dark hair, Martin said. He said the person who spotted the two together was familiar with Yamada but not the other man.

The two were seen near where Yamada’s body was discovered about an hour and 20 minutes later by a police officer on patrol, he said.

Sauschuck said police are seeking the man seen with Yamada as a person of interest with whom they would like to speak because he was with the victim when he was apparently last seen alive.

“The investigation is in its early stages,” Martin said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Portland police at 874-8575. Martin said police are particularly interested in anyone who might have security cameras that would have captured images of Monument Square and Temple, Free and Middle streets early Sunday.

The killing of Yamada was the second homicide in Portland this year.


The city averages two homicides each year.

Bryan K. Garcia, 35, was found dead Feb. 27 in a car in the West End. His death was ruled a homicide.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]

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