The Concord Police and the New Hampshire Medical Examiner’s Office are reportedly investigating a brutal attack last week on a Concord man in one the city’s homeless camps who succumbed to his injuries over the weekend.
Mark Lufkin, 39, died on April 6, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, due to injuries sustained in the attack, allegedly at the homeless campsite near the I-393 underpass about a block from The Friendly Kitchen.
UPDATE: Family to hold memorial service Tuesday
Details about what actually took place last week are currently incomplete.
According to a number of sources, Lufkin was attacked by another homeless man at the camp while reportedly protecting a young woman sometime during the evening of April 4, or morning of April 5. Another woman at the campsite reportedly beat off the initial attacker with a board. Lufkin was rushed to Concord Hospital for treatment and then later airlifted to Dartmouth where he passed away.
Police currently are not commenting on the case but family members have stated that the medical examiner is involved in the case and an autopsy is being performed.
Rebecca Beaupre, Lufkin’s cousin, who was with him when he passed away, said family members had spoken with detectives and have received a number of tips from friends and people who are connected with the city’s close-knit but often volatile homeless community. She said it was not surprising to hear that he was trying to protect someone since he was always trying to help people, especially those who were worse off then he was.
“Mark had a gift,” she said. “He was very intelligent. He had very good street smarts and a way with words … he wanted to help people … he was always out there helping people.”
Beaupre said Lufkin was “a gifted musician” who “could make anyone smile by just picking up his guitar.” He was self-taught and would easily learn songs on the first listen. They would often sing and play together, she said, noting that “Stairway to Heaven,” by Led Zeppelin and “Wish You Were Here,” by Pink Floyd were a couple of his favorite songs.
Despite having four children and moving to different parts of the country, Lufkin would always end up back in Concord, just as he had when he was a child growing up in Providence, RI, she said. Beaupre said Lufkin would spend summers with her family in Concord and said her dad was like a second father to him.
“He always had a home with us,” she said, holding back tears. “But Mark always felt as if he had a purpose out there … he was spreading the word of God, with his music. I knew one day I would find him … we would be burying him … but in my wildest dreams I never would have believed that someone (from the homeless community) would have done this to him. Everyone loved Mark.”
Although he had substance abuse issues and an arrest record, Beaupre said he was often at the Open Hands Resource Center, helping out, and considered many of the city’s homeless “like a second family,” which is why the attack seemed even more shocking.
Both local and state law enforcement officials are in the process of clearing out the campsites mostly located in the center part of the city, hanging up “No Trespassing” signs and patrolling the areas. Last year, a number of violent assaults occurred in the woods behind the Everett Arena, the largest camp area, and a number of people have died due to drowning in the Merrimack River.
Beaupre said when something bad happens in the community, “everyone wants to get involved and they think they might know something” which is why the family is continuing to contact people to find out what happened.
With Lufkin’s death, Beaupre said the family now believed that it was a murder case and she said they were not going stop until it was resolved.
“I don’t want him to go away and have people forget that he was there,” she said. “He just wasn’t a homeless man who was beaten … he was down there doing something, and I’m going finish whatever he was doing.”