Detectives with the Connecticut State Police and Branford Police departments worked into the night on Thursday, processing a scene they immediately called “suspicious” earlier in the day at the Branford Motel on East Main Street.
“Just after 2 p.m., we got a call from the hotel staff that they believed there was an unconscious male in one of the rooms,” said Capt. Geoff Morgan from the Branford Police Department. “The surroundings at that point led the officers to believe it might have been more than an unnatural case of death.”
Morgan said the man was a middle-aged African American.
The troopers, men in white suits and crime scene tape made for a different police presence than normal at the motel.
“They’re always around here, checking cars, making sure everybody is legal,” said Louis Acompora, who has lived at the motel for 15 years.
Debbie Ferency said she was shocked by what she say when she returned to her room from work.
“Come home to this? Makes you wonder — what kind of person would do that to somebody?” she said.
Shortly before 11 p.m., the Medical Examiner’s Office took the man’s body away from the scene to identify him and perform an autopsy. Police said they cannot say whether or not a crime has been committed until the autopsy is complete.
Ferency found all the hype hard to explain to her granddaughter.
“It’s something you’ve got to take her upstairs and she knows ‘Stranger Danger.’ That she’s well aware of, but it’s unbelievable. I just can’t believe this happened here,” she said. ” It just doesn’t happen. It happens in New York, but not here. Branford? No.”
Some residents said they heard that the body was covered and bound by sheets. Police wouldn’t confirm that.
In the meantime, Ferency planned to stay inside with her family for the night.
“She’s into bugs, and she likes to catch fireflies and stuff, so we walk around up on the deck and everything. But now? No,” she said of her granddaughter.
Members of the motel staff said the man checked in late Wednesday night.