UPDATE: Father of Scarborough man whose body was found in Portland Harbor says son ‘truly had a heart of gold’

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PORTLAND — The father of Matthew Foster, the Scarborough man whose body was found Wednesday in Portland harbor, said Foster was a joyful, beloved person.

“I loved him more than you can love anybody,” Mark Foster said Thursday morning. “He was a tremendous kid, he truly had a heart of gold.”

Matthew Foster, 23, was found around 5:20 a.m. June 22, Portland Police Lt. James Sweatt said in a press release. He had been missing since June 10.

Foster, a 2011 graduate of South Portland High School, was an avid sports fan who played several sports in high school. He was a fan of New England sports teams, and loved golf, too.

“One of our big things was watching the (major championships),” his father said.

The manner and cause of Matthew Foster’s death remain under investigation.

“It is pending further studies,” Mark Belserene, spokesman for the Office of the State Medical Examiner, said Thursday. He said an autopsy on Foster’s body was completed Wednesday.

Belserene was not certain what other tests might be performed, but said the investigation will focus on potential factors in Foster’s death, besides drowning.

Portland Police Lt. James Sweatt said Foster’s body was discovered in the water between Widgery and Union wharves. Divers had searched at nearby Chandler’s Wharf for three days last week before police suspended the search June 17.

Foster was reported missing after he failed to meet friends in the Old Port the night of June 10. He was reportedly last seen at the Oasis nightclub on Wharf Street.

His disappearance set off a community-wide effort to find him that touched his family.

“It was amazing, the amount of help and support, there were hundreds of people organizing search parties,” Mark Foster said. “It was sad, heartbreaking, but there was a lot of love and support.”

Foster, a diabetic who had only one day’s supply of medication with him that night, was also not carrying his cell phone or using his car. Both were found at his home by Scarborough police.

While expressing the departments’ condolences to Foster’s family, Sweatt reminded waterfront visitors to take steps to ensure their safety.

“Stay with your friends, and let other people know where you are and when you’re going to return,” he said.

Anyone with information about Foster’s disappearance is asked to call Scarborough police at 883-6361, or Portland police at 874-8575. Portland Police also accept anonymous tips at 875-8584, online at portland-police.com by clicking “Submit an Anonymous Crime Tip,” or by text at 274637 with the keyword “GOTCHA.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.



Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.