NEW PORTLAND (AP) – A 29-year-old man said police detectives have impounded his two vehicles and interviewed him four times as part of their homicide investigation in the death of a New Portland woman this month.

Jeff LaGasse told the Morning Sentinel in Waterville that he called Maine State Police on June 8 after stopping by Louise Brochu’s home and business, New Portland Wood Flooring, to pick up some wood. He said he couldn’t find Brochu, 50, but saw that her office was in disarray when he peered through a window.

Police later found Brochu’s body outside of her business. Her death is being called a homicide.

LaGasse said police took away his car and sport utility vehicle on Wednesday, and have searched him and his apartment and taken photos of him.

“First, they asked me if I knew of anybody who was upset with her,” LaGasse said. “Then, they started putting words in my mouth. They told me they thought I needed money, that she said no, and it escalated from there.”

LaGasse, who lives in an apartment less than a mile from the crime scene with his girlfriend and her three children, said he once worked for Brochu but doesn’t know anything about her death.

Since police interviewed him, LaGasse said he’s lost his job cutting lawns and painting at the Sugarloaf USA resort. Now he doesn’t even have a car to get around, he said.

“It’s putting a damper on my life,” LaGasse said. “I do have bills.”

Police declined to give any details into the investigation or say whether they have questioned LaGasse.

“Detectives have interviewed dozens of persons and the crime lab has been analyzing evidence,” said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. “We are not getting into specifics of what that evidence is.”


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