Victim whose body was found following Kittery hotel identified

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 8:50 PM EDT
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KITTERY, Maine - Maine State Police have released the identity of the man found dead following the fire at a Days Inn in Kittery in May.

The office of the chief medical examiner has identified the victim as 57-year-old Daniel Clarke of Manassas, Virginia.

Clarke’s body was found after fire crews spent several hours searching through rubble from the massive hotel fire on Route 1. Officials say he was found in the south side of the hotel, an area that had some of the most damage.

It took nearly a month for authorities to identify the man. Early in the investigation, officials said no one had come forward to report a person missing.

A spokesperson for State Police released a statement saying in part, “in an effort to identify Mr. Clark DNA was used which is standard procedure in many cases. As you can imagine this is a process that can take some time. "

State Police say it was unclear how long Clarke had been staying at the hotel, but that for part of that time he had been working locally.

The hotel owner told investigators that Clarke’s records were lost in the fire, and he did not keep a guest list, which is required by law.

The Kittery fire chief said when they first arrived on the scene on May 17, they were led to believe there might be people still inside.

“It is a firefighter’s nightmare with individual rooms and hallways and everything else,” Chief David O’Brien said at the time. “Trust me when I say I was extremely hesitant when I sent my firefighters into that building to go make that initial primary search.”

Maine State Police says the cause of the fire in Kittery is still under investigation.