EAST MILLINOCKET (AP) – A team of Maine State Police investigators traveled to northern Maine this week in an attempt to breathe new life into a 28-year-old murder investigation.

As many as eight detectives have been in East Millinocket taking a new look at the unsolved murder of 16-year-old Joyce McLain, who was found bludgeoned to death two days after going out for a jog in August 1980, said state police spokesman Steve McCausland.

McCausland said detectives would stay in town all week interviewing old and new witnesses, following new leads and giving old leads a fresh look.

“We are going to re-interview many people that we have talked to over the years. Some (others) are people that we will be talking to for the first time that have information that might be of use,” McCausland said.

The investigation has taken on new life after McLain’s body was exhumed last week and examined by two internationally known forensic experts, Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Henry Lee.

Baden and Lee said the body was in remarkably good shape and that new evidence was recovered, but they cautioned that the evidence must still correspond with other case information to produce a suspect.

Among the items that Baden and Lee suggested detectives review are letters and mementos that were placed in McLain’s casket 28 years ago, McCausland said.

McCausland, retired funeral home director James Dowd and Joyce McLain’s mother, Pamela McLain, said they didn’t know if the letters were examined by investigators before being put in the coffin in 1980.

Dowd recalled receiving six to eight sealed envelopes, plus mementos and possibly a few folded notes before Joyce McLain’s services at Calvary Temple Assembly of God Church.

“I didn’t read any of them because that wasn’t any of my business,” Dowd said. “The family members never told me that any detectives looked at them, but that would not have been my business either.”

Residents said they were glad to see police in town working on the case.

“I think it’s wonderful that something might come out of this,” said Janice Currie, 58, of East Millinocket. “They need closure, her mother, her family. I would say everybody in town wants to see this case closed with a conviction.”


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