Maine police appeal for information on dead boy

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SOUTH BERWICK, Maine (AP) — Hoping to identify a young boy whose body was found along a remote road in southern Maine, police on Sunday set up a command post, began talking to local residents and released a computer-generated photo of the blue-eyed child.

“The only way we’re going to be able to identify him is if someone recognizes him and calls,” said Sgt. Chris Harriman of the state police.

The boy is 3 foot, 8 inches tall, weighs 45 pounds and is believed to have been between 4 and 6 years old. He had dark or “dirty” blond hair and blue eyes. There were no missing-person reports filed for a boy fitting the description.

Detectives were at the spot where the body was found, along a dirt road off Route 4 outside of South Berwick, said Steve McCausland of the Maine Public Safety Department. A command post was also set up and police had begun interviewing local residents, Harriman said.

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The body was found by a local resident who saw a blanket at the end of a driveway. When the unidentified woman went to investigate she found the body, Harriman said.

Bruce and Laurie Ralph, who live less than a mile from where the body was found, said the area is quiet and rural, and is very dark at night because there are no streetlights.

Laurie Ralph said “it was very disturbing’ when she was told of the body being found.

“I didn’t sleep at all last night,” she said.

On Monday, police plan to collect and examine videos from cameras at local stores and highways, including the Maine Turnpike, that might turn up information.

An autopsy was being conducted Sunday afternoon, but officials did not expect a cause or manner of death to be released that day.

Police said earlier in the day that the investigation could not begin in earnest until the boy is identified, allowing investigators to talk to parents, guardians and others who knew him, McCausland said.

“The first priority is to identify the boy,” said McCausland.

State police alerted agencies across New England and notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in hopes of getting information about the boy, whose body was discovered about 5 p.m. Saturday.

The boy was wearing a gray camouflage hooded sweat shirt with the brand name “Faded Glory,” tan pants, and “Lightning McQueen” black sneakers, McCausland said. He had no information on where the child’s body was found, other than beside the road.

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