Police have identified the body of a woman found dead Tuesday inside a car at the side of Seguinland Road.
She is a “young college-aged student who lives in Rhode Island” and is a native of China, Sagadahoc County Sheriff ’s Deputy Brett Strout said Wednesday.
The victim was found by a passerby who checked the inside of the car at approximately 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Strout said the car may have gone off the road as early as Monday evening, and several motorists passed the car as it sat in a ditch astride Seguinland Road — an access road to Reid State Park — throughout the morning Tuesday.
First on scene, rescuers with the Georgetown Fire Department discovered the woman, “determined there was some apparatus going on inside the car” and alerted dispatch to a possible hazardous materials incident, Strout said.
“We didn’t know what it was,” Strout said.
Georgetown rescuers soon determined the apparatus was a tank of helium, which they deemed nonhazardous, and a hazmat response team from Brunswick was called off. Rescuers then gained access to the car and tried rescucitation, but “she was deceased,” Strout said.
“She had been intending to commit suicide,” Strout said. “She left a note to that effect.”
Strout said the woman crashed her car “whether intentionally or unintentionally” and then likely commited suicide sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon.
He did not disclose a manner of death and declined to speculate on the presence of the helium tank, except to say “a lot of thought and planning went into” the outcome.
The woman doesn’t have any obvious links to Mid-coast Maine and apparently chose her place of rest randomly.
Asked how a Chinese woman from Rhode Island would end up at the side of the road in Georgetown, Strout said: “That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”
“It could be she pulled out of a driveway in Rhode Island and took a left instead of a right and kept on going. She could have ended up in Pennsylvania. We don’t know.”