RUMFORD — Police are investigating what led a taxi cab driver from Rumford to commit suicide in woods behind the Sons of Italy clubhouse on Route 108 late Friday morning.

A 52-year-old driver for Mountain Valley Taxi Service of Mexico killed himself with a single gunshot a short distance from the cab parked behind the hall, Detective Sgt. James Bernard said. He declined to identify the man “because this remains an open investigation.”

However, cab company driver and dispatcher Arthur Clifford in Rumford said the man was employed as a driver since the company opened in 2008.

“It was one of our drivers,” Clifford said. “I talked with the driver two minutes before it happened and he said everything was OK.”

Clifford said the driver didn’t have anyone in the cab at the time of the incident, which Bernard said began at 11:30 a.m.

“We received a call from the victim’s wife explaining that he was despondent and she gave a location where we might find him,” Bernard said.

When they arrived at the clubhouse, they spotted the driver’s blue taxi cab parked in the back of the lot beside woods but didn’t see anyone at first, he said.

“As we attempted to gain more knowledge as to the circumstances, a single gunshot was heard from where the direction of the vehicle was parked, but we had not seen anybody at that point,” Bernard said. “As we approached the vehicle, we observed the victim a short distance away in the woods.”

Rumford, Mexico and Oxford County police closed Route 108 to traffic while police investigated.

The taxi service is owned by Matt Bean and Deb Cayer, who Clifford said were on vacation in Florida at the time of the incident.

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