EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Currently the state of Maine has 120 cold case homicides. This leaves families with questions and wanting closure. The state police point to a lack of funding and not enough manpower as the reason these cases go untouched and unsolved. Lawmakers will once again be faced with a vote as Representative Steve Stanley proposes the creation of Maine's first Cold Case Squad to work exclusively on these cases.
This will be the third time lawmakers will hear a proposal for the creation of a cold case unit. Representative Stanley of Medway continues to push for this team and he has good reason.
One of the state's most well known cold cases, the murder of 16 year old Joyce McLain, happened just streets away from his home. For 33 years, the McLain family has wondered what happened to the girl who left her home to not return.
Joyce's mother Pam McLain hopes this will give her the one thing she wants, closure. McLain said, "Oh God...I cant even go there because I've never had that happen in nearly 34 years. I'm not really sure the public really understands at all what we are trying to do here. I mean this cold case unit is the biggest thing to hit the state of Maine. All unsolved now and all unsolved in the future will rely on this cold case unit at one time or another to help their case. Either to be solved or try to be solved."
As it is right now, cold cases are only worked on when Maine State Police investigators are not working active cases.
If passed, this would assign two detectives and one crime lab tech to work with an attorney specifically on cold cases.
According to the Attorney General's office, funding has been the biggest hurdle to get this off the ground. It would cost roughly $500,000 the first year and nearly $430,000 annually.