WATERVILLE — The death of a man found Thursday near the railroad tracks off North Street does not appear to be suspicious, police Chief Joseph Massey said just before 3 p.m.

“At this time, we don’t suspect any foul play,” he said. “There is nothing suspicious to indicate that. We are in the process of notifying next of kin.”

Massey said police have identified the man, who appears to be in his 40s and lived in the Waterville area.

Local and state police spent the late morning and early afternoon investigating the discovery of the body next to the railroad tracks below a bridge on North Street.

Massey said the state medical examiner’s office will be looking at the body, after which information about the cause of death might be released, though he did not expect that to occur Thursday.

“We’re not going to speculate on that (cause of death) until we get the M.E.’s results,” he said.

Around 11 a.m., police placed yellow tape across North Street at Harris and West streets around the bridge to prohibit motorists and pedestrians from going onto the bridge, where the body was visible below.

Massey said at the scene that around 10:55 a.m. police received a report that a male was lying beside the railroad tracks under the North Street overpass.

“At this point we don’t have any cause of death, but we continue to investigate,” he said. “We need to work through it, and the detectives are on scene now. We’ve asked for assistance from state police.”

Officials from the state police Criminal Investigation Division arrived at the scene around noon. The body, lying on its side and facing east, was clothed in a blue jacket and dark pants and had on what appeared to be white sneakers.

Motorists and pedestrians stopped at West Street to ask what was going on.

Rep. Colleen Madigan also stopped. She said she was not aware of anyone missing in the neighborhood.

“It is disturbing,” Madigan said. “Lots of people walk around here. The trails are nearby.”

Massey said it did not appear the body had been there for a long time

Because the body was on Pan Am Railways property, railroad police also investigated, according to police.

A hearse arrived around 1:37 p.m. and the body was removed.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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