Medical Examiner: Man’s death caused by homicidal violence

By News Staff

Reporting by Ana Bottary

The state Medical Examiner’s Office says the Cumberland man whose suspicious death is under investigation died due to homicidal violence.

80-year-old Stanley J. Stowik Sr. died unexpectedly at his Indiana Avenue home on October 9th, and investigators are treating it as a homicide. The manner in which he died has not been released.

"We have reason to believe during the onset of the investigation that this was a targeted situation, not a random situation," said Cumberland Police Chief John Desmarais.

Police began investigating Saturday after receiving a call notifying them of his death. On Wednesday afternoon, the Rhode Island State Police mobile crime lab was on scene as investigators scoured the property.

Neighbors say Stowik was a good guy and can’t imagine why someone would harm him. Todd Wagner has lived across the street from Stowik for over 15 years and says everyone in the neighborhood knew and respected him.

"It really makes you think. He was a really nice guy. He wasn’t bad to people," Wagner explained. "It’s a great loss."

A flag outside Post 14 in Cumberland is at half staff in honor of Stowik, a Korean War veteran and member of the post for many years. Members of the post say Stowik spent every Friday night there, and last Friday, the day he died, was a typical night out for him.

Post member, Jeff Denzer, tells ABC6, "I said bye and he was going to give me a hat, but I never saw him again."

Stowik’s obituary says he was a lifelong resident of Cumberland and a retired town employee.

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