Maine State Police returned to East Millinocket on Tuesday to search for evidence connected to the murder of a teenage girl more than three decades ago.
Tuesday’s search was concentrated along power lines near Schenck High School, where police found the body of Joyce McLain 35 years ago, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. Police conducted a similar evidence search in the same area Oct. 1.
McCausland would not elaborate on why state police returned to the site. McLain’s unsolved murder is one of more than 120 cold cases in Maine.
“No details are being released of what detectives were looking for or whether anything was found,” McCausland said in a prepared statement.
Contacted Tuesday evening, McCausland said state police don’t plan to return to the site Wednesday, but “That doesn’t mean we won’t be going back at some point in the future. There’s just nothing scheduled now.”
McCausland said the search party spent several hours at the site before stopping late Tuesday afternoon.
“The detectives felt that particular area needed one more day of searching,” McCausland said of the area under scrutiny.
McLain’s mother, Pamela McLain, was notified after Tuesday’s search, said McCausland.
McLain was 16 when she disappeared while jogging on Aug. 8, 1980. Her partially clad body was found two days later behind the high school’s soccer fields. Her neck and head had been struck repeatedly with a blunt object. Police said there was no sign of a sexual assault.
At the time of her death, McLain was a sophomore at Schenck High School, where she was an honor student, a cheerleader, a musician and an athlete.
A thunderstorm that struck during the time authorities were still searching for her washed away much of the evidence.
As time wore on, community members raised enough money to have McLain’s body exhumed in hopes experts could find any shred of DNA evidence. None was found.