Maine’s Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled that a former Deering High School basketball star took his own life in July, saying the 22-year-old Portland man who crashed his car on Brighton Avenue had stabbed himself in the heart.

Patrick Lobor was 22 when he died in July from a stab wound in his chest.

Mark Belserene, a spokesman for the medical examiner, issued the finding Monday after a prolonged investigation into the death of Patrick Lobor, saying that Lobor died of a stab wound to the heart and that the manner of death has been ruled a suicide.

“Cause of death; stab wound of chest involving heart. Manner of death is ruled suicide,” Belserene said in an email to the Portland Press Herald.

Belserene said no further information was available about the circumstances, the sequence of events or how investigators reached their conclusion. Belserene said police investigators typically release more details on the sequence of events leading up to a person’s death.

Portland police had ruled out any crime related to Lobor’s death, indicating investigators believed it was either a suicide or an accident. On Monday, Portland Police Chief Vern Malloch issued a statement explaining why the investigation took nearly four months and detectives previously had declined to release any details.

“The investigation into this death involved several complex elements and the circumstances were very unusual,” Malloch said in an email. “There was a serious crash involving three cars. Two people were injured in the crash and Patrick died at the scene.

“Investigators carefully collected and reviewed all of the evidence. We interviewed a significant number of witnesses, friends and family members. We must examine every possibility and rule out a medical event, foul play and accidental death.”

Malloch said that Portland police collaborated with the medical examiner’s office and shared their findings before a final determination on Lobor’s cause of death was made.

“This was a very thorough investigation into a very sad death of a young man,” Malloch said.

However, Lobor’s family has disputed the police department’s conclusion, saying he would not have harmed himself.

“I have nothing more to say to you about this,” Robert Lado Lobor said Monday at his home on Portland’s Munjoy Hill when asked about the medical examiner’s conclusion that his son committed suicide.

Lobor’s death was mysterious from the start.

He died after his car struck a vehicle that had stopped for a red light at Brighton Avenue and Riverside Street, pushing that car into an SUV. Police said Lobor got out of his car, stumbled to the middle of the intersection, where he collapsed and died.

Police briefed Lobor’s family after his autopsy to inform them they had concluded no crime had been committed, but family members said at the time that they were dissatisfied with the explanation.

The family said Lobor was running some errands immediately before he died and was behaving normally, with nothing out of character. He was gone from the family’s Munjoy Hill home less than two hours before he died, they said.

Lobor played basketball and football at Deering High School, where he helped lead his team to a state basketball championship in 2012. He was a 6-foot, 5-inch center on the 2016-17 Southern Maine Community College Sea Wolves basketball team and studied health sciences at the school, according to the Sea Wolves website. His father said he worked at a South Portland hotel.

Lobor was loved in the Portland community. About 200 people gathered on a Munjoy South basketball court in late July for a vigil to honor Lobor’s life and accomplishments.

“I’ve lost two brothers, not just one. It is the hardest thing. I feel like my soul died with Patrick,” his sister, Lily Lobor, told the gathering.

Patrick’s brother, Richard Lobor, was 23 when he was shot in the head and died on Nov. 21, 2014, at an apartment at 214 Brighton Ave. Abdirahman Hussein Haji-Hassan was convicted of his murder.

“My brother had a different kind of soul, a different kind of energy,” Lobor’s younger brother, Anthony, said during the vigil. “Now, I’m the older brother and I am going to take care of my family. We’re going to stay strong.”

Lobor’s parents and family are Sudanese refugees who came to Portland in 2004.

“We know that our son was a decent and caring person and beloved by many,” Robert Lobor said in July. “What we didn’t know is how many lives he had touched in our greater community through sports.”

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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