BANGOR, Maine — The family of a Bangor man who disappeared in early December 2016 learned Wednesday that a body recovered Saturday from the Penobscot River in Bucksport is his, according to Sgt. Tim Cotton, spokesman for the Police Department.
The state medical examiner positively identified the deceased as Paul Francis III, 29, who went by the nickname “June Bug,” Cotton said in a press release.
Francis worked the evening shift as a cook at Geaghan’s Pub and was last seen leaving a party on Sanford Street sometime after 1 a.m. Dec. 2. He was reported missing on Dec. 4, and in the time since, family, friends and volunteers have searched for him and detectives investigated the disappearance.
“It’s with a tear in my eye, a lump in my throat and a broken heart that I must share that the great creator has come for our brother June Bug,” search volunteer Robert Kearns said in a text that he posted on the group’s Facebook page, Search for June Bug. “It hurts so much but we have him to lay to rest by his mother. Thank you all for the support and the family asks for privacy at this time.”
Francis was reportedly feeling depressed in the days leading up to his disappearance, Bangor police Detective Lt. David Bushey said after he had been missing for just over a month.
Volunteers have met daily at the Union Street Brick Church to get updates and search assignments.
Kearns set up a GoFundMe site to raise $1,000 in reward money for information leading to Francis’ whereabouts after an anonymous donor pledged $250 to start the account, which by Wednesday afternoon had raised $800.
“These monies will be for June Bug’s son,” Kearns said Wednesday by text.
Members of the Down East Emergency Medicine Institute, an Orono-based search and rescue organization, also used drones to search the Bangor area, including along the waterways, and up in Old Town.
Attempts to reach family members of Francis on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Sgt. David Winchester of the Bucksport Police Department said a man working to remove buildings at the former Verso Paper mill discovered the body shortly after noon Saturday.
He called police at 12:27 p.m. and reported “the body was under the dock on the backside of the building,” Winchester said Tuesday. “It was a male.
“We didn’t have any missing people, but I knew Bangor did,” the sergeant said. “I made a courtesy call to give them the heads up.”
There was no wallet on the body, Winchester said.
“The medical examiner’s office reports that the cause of death has not been determined pending further studies,” Cotton said. “At this time there is no information that indicates that foul play was a factor in the death of Mr. Francis.”