Man found dead at homeless camp
Updated 9:20 am, Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Jesse Stoddard, 33, was remembered this week as a sensitive soul who was always there for others.
The state's Chief Medical Examiners office in Farmington determined the cause of death to be accidental drowning.
A memorial service was set Wednesday, June 12, at 5:30 p.m. at Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House, at 40 Main St., to be officiated by the Rev. Jack Gilpin from neighboring St. John's Episcopal Church.
There is confusion about whether Stoddard was living at the camp behind Water's Construction on Danbury Road or if he was visiting the site.
Ash said the department had a 10 Railroad St. residence address listed for him. Gilpin believed he lived in the encampment with five other homeless men.
Yet Stoddard's brother, Kyle Stoddard, said he was likely taking food to the people there.
"He was always helping those who were less fortunate," Kyle Stoddard said. "He'd buy food and cook for those people down there."
Stoddard and his three brothers had moved to New Milford from Texas in 2010. Construction workers, they were originally from Westcliff, Colorado.
"He was our big brother," Kyle Stoddard said. "He loved the outdoors. He'd kept his youthful looks and strength. He was incredible all around."
Lisa Martin, president of the Loaves & Fishes soup kitchen, said Stoddard had been a regular there since September.
"He just had a light to him. He was a sensitive soul," Martin said. "The biggest thing for him was helping others. Anytime we put out an appeal for help, Jesse was right there. He was a wonderful house painter."
Stoddard's former landlord, Stan Zimmerman of Wilton, said he was "surprised to hear that Jesse would be at a homeless encampment" since the Stoddard brothers had been excellent tenants.