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Shelter to investigate Stuart death

Autopsy results still pending

Matthew Stuart, photographed in Boston in 1997, was arrested on cocaine trafficking charges in Revere almost immediately after he was released that year after three years in prison on charges stemming from the killing of Carol DiMaiti Stuart. The drug charges were later dropped for lack of evidence. Matthew Stuart, photographed in Boston in 1997, was arrested on cocaine trafficking charges in Revere almost immediately after he was released that year after three years in prison on charges stemming from the killing of Carol DiMaiti Stuart. The drug charges were later dropped for lack of evidence. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff/File)
By John M. Guilfoil
Globe Staff / September 7, 2011

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CAMBRIDGE - The Central Square homeless shelter where Matthew Stuart died of an apparent drug overdose is investigating his death and the circumstances that led up to it, a senior official at the shelter said.

“We are currently investigating to see what happened in this situation,’’ said Wendy Jacobs, the deputy executive director of Heading Home, which operates the Cambridge Shelter on School Street, on Monday. “This is a tragic event and again, our hearts go out to his family.’’

Stuart, 45, was found dead in a bathroom at the shelter shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday. He probably died of a drug overdose, a law enforcement official told the Globe on Monday, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case. Intravenous drug paraphernalia was found with Stuart’s body.

Stuart was the younger brother of Charles Stuart, whose infamous killing of his pregnant wife, Carol DiMaiti Stuart, in their car on Mission Hill in 1989 fanned the flames of racial tension in Boston after Charles Stuart blamed the crime on a black man. When questioned by police, Matthew Stuart confessed his brother killed Carol Stuart and he helped cover it up. Before Charles Stuart could be arrested, he jumped off the Tobin Bridge to his death on Jan. 4, 1990.

Autopsy results on Matthew Stuart’s body were still pending last night, said Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, which oversees the chief medical examiner.

Stuart was released after three years in prison in 1997 on charges stemming from the killing. He was arrested for cocaine trafficking in Revere almost immediately afterward, but those charges were later dropped for lack of evidence, after he served three more months for being arrested while on probation.

Little is known about his life over the past 14 years, and family members have declined repeated requests for comment.

It is also not known how Stuart ended up at the Heading Home: Cambridge Shelter, which is described on its website as an emergency shelter with 21 beds.

“Heading Home deals with a highly vulnerable population who are often, unfortunately, in need of substantial help,’’ Jacobs said. “We have provided housing and other assistance to tens of thousands of individuals and families over nearly 40 years to support them in overcoming barriers to end their homelessness.’’

John Guilfoil can be reached at jguilfoil@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globe_guilfoil