BELFAST, Maine — A 28-year-old autistic man from Searsport was found dead Friday morning in a small stream near High Street in Belfast.
Jonathan Grinstein-Camacho was found face down in the stream and clad only in a pair of jeans, according to a media release issued Friday afternoon by the Belfast Police Department. He had been reported missing by his family about 2:30 p.m. Thursday after having slipped out of his home and driven away in the family vehicle.
About three hours later, he showed up at the Belfast Variety store on High Street, where employee John Shifflett said he appeared to be disoriented and was acting strangely. According to Shifflett, Grinstein-Camacho had a baby carriage with him in the store, which had some items in it but no baby. He kept going in and out of the store, returning often to the car outside, and employees called police because of his odd behavior.
According to the press release, Belfast officers came to the store shortly after 6 p.m. and made contact with Grinstein-Camacho. They realized that it was the same man who had been reported missing earlier that day and contacted his family to come pick him up.
“Jonathan … managed to slip away from the officers and was believed to be headed into the downtown Belfast area,” the press release stated. “The local hospital was contacted and requested to make contact with Belfast police if Jonathan showed up there.”
Police searched for Grinstein-Camacho all night, according to the press release. But he wasn’t found until 8:39 a.m. Friday, when someone called the police to report that there was a body in the drainage brook. He was found within sight of the Belfast Variety store. Police pulled the body out of the stream, covered it with white plastic sheeting and cordoned off the area as they began piecing together what happened.
When asked whether the man died of exposure, Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham said the body was being taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta to determine the cause of death. According to the National Weather Service, the overnight low temperature in Belfast was 28 degrees. According to the press release, there was no sign of serious injury or foul play. The situation remains under investigation, police said.