State police arrest Industry man in decades-old homicide case

INDUSTRY —  Maine State Police on Wednesday arrested Jay S. Mercier, 55, charging him with murder in connection with the death of Rita St. Peter 31 years ago.

Somerset County Jail

Jay S. Mercier

submitted photo

Rita St. Peter

St. Peter, who was 20 at the time of her death, was found dead off the Campground Road in Anson on July 5, 1980. Mercier was indicted, by secret indictment, earlier this month by the Somerset County grand jury, according to a press release issued by Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

St. Peter was last seen walking in the early morning of July 5 crossing the bridge from Madison to Anson, the release said.

"Earlier in the evening she was seen drinking at a local bar in Madison. At the time of her death, she was staying with friends in Anson and worked at Ken's Family Drive-In, a restaurant in Skowhegan," the release said.

The case was advanced by a recent review of all the evidence at the state police crime lab using forensic technology, according to McCausland.

Police were not being specific with the details of that review.

Detectives worked closely with analysts at the crime lab, prosecutors at the Maine Attorney General's Office and the State Medical Examiner's Office, and the case against Mercier was presented to the grand jury, which issued the indictment Sept. 16, the release said.

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 's picture

I Hope This Family Will Have Closure At Last

Losing a loved one is hard and I cant even imagine what this poor family and victim endured.

If this man is indeed guilty then let justice prevail

Sometimes one needs to read an article before pouncing on a keyboard

 's picture


does someone live with oneself for 31 years after murdering someone?

 's picture

20 Years Old

Rita St. Peter, who was 20...

Gary Grenier's picture

The victim was 20.

The victim was 20.


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