LEWISTON — A body was pulled out of the Androscoggin River on Saturday afternoon, and police a day later were trying to determine the identity of the dead man.

Lewiston police and investigators from the Maine Warden Service work Saturday afternoon to remove a body from the Androscoggin River. Submitted photo

At about 5 p.m. Saturday, police were called with a report of a body floating in the water above the falls, in an area behind the old Peck building. Once police confirmed that there was a body in the water, they called for help from the Maine Warden Service.

“They have the boats and resources and they’re trained to remove bodies from water without destroying evidence,” said Lewiston police Lt. Derrick St. Laurent. “Obviously, we were handling it as a crime scene.”

It appeared that the body had been in the water for some time, St. Laurent said.

An autopsy is expected to be conducted early this week. Police and other area agencies were reviewing missing persons cases as part of the investigation.

As of Sunday afternoon, the identity of the dead man remained unknown. The Warden’s Service, the Medical Examiner’s Office and Lewiston’s Major Crimes Unit were investigating. The case was being labeled a suspicious death until more information arises, St. Laurent said.

The body was recovered as thousands gathered at nearby Simard-Payne Memorial Park for the Great Falls Balloon Festival. The area where the body was discovered is on the other side of Main Street, mostly out of view from the park grounds.

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