Investigation continues into death of woman found in Saco motel

SACO, Maine – (NEWS CENTER) — Maine State Police detectives continue to investigate what happened to a homeless woman who was discovered severely beaten in a motel room.

Elizabeth Williams was found by the cleaning staff at the Sunrise Motel on Route One late Saturday morning and rushed to Maine Medical Center. She died at the hospital on Sunday afternoon.

The 55 year old woman was homeless and well known by staff and clients at the Preble Street Resource Center.

“We had two staff people from Preble Street with her when she died at the hospital,” said Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street, which provides food, shelter and assistance to people struggling to get by. “We cared deeply about her and were able to be with her at the end.”

Detectives spent the weekend into Monday collecting evidence and talking with people who had been with Williams. Police say the man who rented the room has been cooperative with investigators.

Swann says Williams death is just the latest tragic end met by a member of Portland’s homeless community.

“She was part of the community here, and that is a big part of what we do and who we are,” he said. “It is not just a meal, it is not just helping somebody find housing or finding a job, it is really being there for each other and with each other and that includes tough times as well. Sadly, Elizabeth’s death is the twenty-fourth death in this year of people we care about and know about – several of them with violent ends.”

Williams body was taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office where an autopsy was performed on Monday to determine how she died.