LEWISTON — Police were holding a 20-year-old man in connection with the suspicious death of a woman whose body was removed Tuesday by the Maine Office of the Chief Medical Examiner from a first-floor apartment at 417 Main St.

Bob W. Ryder, formerly of Litchfield, was arrested at about 3 a.m. Tuesday and held on a probation violation at Androscoggin County Jail. No bail was allowed.

According to Tuesday’s Lewiston Police Department call log, someone came into the lobby of the station just before 10 p.m. Monday and reported a woman was dead in the Main Street apartment. The age of that woman was not known.

The State Police criminal investigation division truck was at the address to process the scene, as was the Lewiston critical incident response unit.

The apartment is in the back of the building that housed the former Community Wireless Plus office across the street from Central Maine Medical Center. According to city assessing records, the property is owned by Double Eagle Properties LLC.

Police were seeking to gain entry to the basement through a door that had been fortified.

According to the building manager, the apartment had been leased to a man for the past three or four months. The tenant’s girlfriend has been missing for about three weeks, the manager said.

According to the owner-manager, the tenant told a friend he had killed his girlfriend and stuffed her in a hole somewhere in the building, but the tenant felt bad about it and told a friend.

It was that friend, according to the owner, who reported the death to police Monday night.

According to a Facebook page that gives the same date of birth, Ryder served in the U.S. Marines after attending Oak Hill High School in Wales.

Court records show Ryder had been charged with burglary, theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and criminal trespass on Aug. 21, 2010, and with criminal trespass on Aug. 20, 2010. He was found guilty, sentenced to two years, six months, with all but 102 days suspended, and two years of probation on the first charge; was sentenced to 20 days on the second charge; and to 30 days on the third and fourth charges.

 State and local police cordoned off the building with tape and several patrolmen were stationed outside the apartment. Local police had secured the scene since Monday night, awaiting arrival of state investigators.

Although the incident was reported as a homicide, police on Tuesday considered it to be a suspicious death.


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