The death of a 24-year-old Freeport man whose body was found in the Howland woods Wednesday was ruled a suicide by the state medical examiner, the Maine State Police said Thursday.
A release from State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said an autopsy showed that Dean Levasseur died from a self inflicted gunshot wound to his head early Sunday morning. He went missing at Chickenfest, an annual party held by University of Maine students, late Saturday night.
On Tuesday, Sgt. Ronald Dunham of the Maine Warden Service said Levasseur last sent a text message around 1:30 a.m. Sunday and it didn’t indicate he was in distress. McCausland wrote that a state police investigation found that the death happened around that time.
McCausland said a handgun, which Levasseur purchased earlier this month, was found with the body, which was found roughly a quarter-mile from the site of Chickenfest, off a logging road leading south from Lagrange Road approximately 3 miles west of Interstate 95.
Volunteer crews of friends and family, led by the Maine Warden Service, Down East Emergency Medical Institute and Dirigo Search & Rescue, searched the area Tuesday and Wednesday until a warden service canine unit came across the body. The Maine State Police searched the area briefly Monday.
On Wednesday, after learning of the death, Josh Hunnefeld, a friend and band mate of Levasseur’s, said a conversation he had with him before he disappeared now concerns him. Hunnefeld said he last saw Levasseur before 10:30 on Saturday before their band, Roots, Rhythm and Dub, was supposed to play at Chickenfest.
“I don’t know,” Hunnefeld said Wednesday. “I don’t know if he was depressed and just said f— it and walked off into the woods, or if he went off to use the bathroom and disappeared, I don’t know.”
Hunnefeld said Levasseur, a guitarist, didn’t make the scheduled 11:30 p.m. gig. When Hunnefeld didn’t hear from him all of Sunday, he said he reported him missing to Freeport police.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.