The body pulled from the Kennebec River a week ago has been identified as that of Mark Johnston, 64, of Richmond, who was reported missing Oct. 25 after he failed to return home after he said he planned to move his boat.

The Department of Marine Resources announced Thursday in a news release that the identification was confirmed by the state medical examiner’s office.

The Maine State Police/Marine Patrol dive team recovered Johnston’s body shortly after 3 p.m. Oct. 26 from the Kennebec River in about 15 feet of water and about 20 feet from the town dock.

At that time, the medical examiner’s office could not confirm the identity.

Johnston was the chief financial officer for Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, where he had worked since 1997. KVCAP is a nonprofit community action program serving Kennebec and Somerset counties. Its mission it is to help people become self-sufficient.

Before that, Johnston had worked in banking, mostly with KeyBank. He graduated from the University of Maine, in Orono, in 1977 with an accounting degree.


According to his obituary, Johnston enjoyed golfing, snowmobiling and the Boston Red Sox, and he was known for his love of boating.

Johnston leaves behind his wife, Pamela; children Chad and Sarah; and grandsons, a brother and a sister.

The recovery ended the extensive search for Johnston that was launched Oct. 25, when he was reported overdue at 9:21 p.m., when he failed to return after leaving to move his boat from a mooring in the river to the town dock.

Maine Marine Patrol Officer Clint Thompson found Johnston’s 32-foot recreational motorboat on the west side of Swan Island and downstream from Richmond. The boat’s engine was running and its navigational lights were still on. No one was on board.

Johnston had last been observed on a security camera arriving at the town dock at 6:11 p.m. that evening, Marine Patrol investigators said.

The search, which started Thursday evening, drew firefighters from Dresden, Woolwich and Bowdoinham as well as the Marine Patrol, Richmond police and the Richmond harbormaster. The U.S. Coast Guard deployed a helicopter from Cape Cod, and a 29-foot vessel.


The search was suspended at 2:30 a.m. Friday and continued later that morning.

Mark Belserene, administrator at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, said no determination has been made yet about the cause of Johnston’s death.

“As of now, the case is ‘pending further studies,'” Belserene wrote in an email, noting that the office is waiting for toxicology results, part of its standard procedure

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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