A suspicious death in Colchester is now being identified as a homicide.
Last Friday, police were called to a home on Stanavage Road for the report of a suspicious death.
Police have identified the victim as 36-year-old James E. Stone.
On Thursday, the medical examiner's office said the cause of death was shotgun wounds to the chest and right lower extremity.
Detectives from Eastern District Major Crime responded to the scene and have assumed the investigation. There is no threat to the public, police said.
Stone was not a member of the Gold Hill Paugussett Tribe, but Chief Kicking Bear Piper said Stone was embraced by members and considered one of their own.
"He was considered a part of the tribe because he was so integral in helping and watching the land," said Chief Kicking Bear Piper.
According to the Chief, Stone has developed a relationship with the tribe after suffering from some mental health issues.
Stone was a life-long resident of Colchester, was a 4.0 student, and a star athlete at Bacon Academy. In college at the University of Vermont, Stone was diagnosed as Schizophrenic.
"In his heart, he was a good person. He just had some issues that he was struggling to deal with," said Piper.
The Chief says the tribe cared for Stone, and at one point, they gave him a place to stay and he really earned the tribe's trust.
On Friday, the tribe was up in Massachusetts for a ceremony, so Stone was the only person expected to be on the property.
"If someone pulled into the gate that we didn't know, he'd jump out of his trailer and meet them," said Piper.
Between Thursday night and late Friday, Stone was killed. The mystery of the death of Stone is beginning with questions still swirling.
"I just couldn't figure out why this would happen to this individual. That's where the mystery lies. We don't know what transpired in those few days after we saw him. Why did he end up deceased and what was the cause," said Piper.
State Police have not publicly identified a suspect but does say the community is not in danger.
Piper said the tribe will hold a memorial for Stone on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Anyone with information should contact police at 860-896-3201.
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