Maine Cold Case Arrest After 35 Years, Police Confident They Have The Right Man

More than 35 years after the horrific murder of a 16-year-old Maine student, police have made an arrest in the cold case. Joyce McLain was a popular high school student before she vanished while jogging back in 1980. The young woman left her home for a jog in August of that year, says Colonel Robert Williams of the Maine State Police, and never came home. Her badly beaten body was found 48 hours later, near a power line behind a local high school.

For 35 years, the Maine youth's murder remained a cold case.

Police from the Maine state police's crime lab exhumed McLain's body in 2008, and the body and case were reviewed by the Maine major crimes unit. During the review, old and new evidences were considered, reports Williams.

Murder Victim's Tomb
[Photo by @FRESLYLLC/Twitter]On Friday, March 4, the Maine authorities finally felt as though they had enough evidence to file charges in the cold case. Law enforcement agencies are confident that they have the pieces of the puzzle they need to follow-up on the cold case charges and prove their allegations beyond a reasonable doubt, reports Fox 13 Now.
"Right now we're confident we have the person that committed the homicide."
The person who they believed to have committed the Maine cold case homicide? Philip Scott Fournier, 55, who was arrested Friday.
"Over the years, Fournier has made statements to a number of people indicating potential knowledge and involvement in the death of Joyce McLain."
Back in 1980, when the lengthy cold case began in regard to the McLain homicide, Fournier was just 19-years-old. According to law enforcement involved in the Maine cold case homicide, Fournier's name was connected to the case since the beginning, coming up repeatedly in the cold case's police reports throughout the investigation. Reportedly, Fournier "knew of" the victim before she was found beaten to death.

Fox News also reports that two or more witnesses placed Fournier at or near both the last place that McLain had been seen alive and the scene where her battered body was found. It has also been reported that the accused was acquainted with the family of the victim.

Sepia Joyce
[Photo by @OnlineSentinel/Twitter]According to reports, the accused in the Maine cold case apparently confessed to the crime multiple times over the years. He reportedly told his pastor that he'd done something "beyond comprehension;" Fournier also reportedly confessed to a friend, telling them that "a group" had killed McLain and that he'd been "forced to participate" in the "barbaric act." Per a cited affidavit, he told the friend that the murdered teen in the Maine cold case had been bound, her hands behind her back.

In addition to being arrested in the 35-year-old Maine cold case, it's been reported that Philip Scott Fournier has also been previously convicted for multiple crimes, some of them particularly concerning. Fournier's list of prior convictions includes possession of child porn, theft and burglary. All of these prior convictions happened during the period that the Joyce McLain murder remained a cold case in Maine.

Colonel Robert Williams of the Maine State Police told media outlets that he'd spoken to Joyce McLain's mother in the aftermath of the current developments in her daughter's cold case. Reportedly, and not surprisingly, when he spoke to McLain's mother, Williams said that she was "relieved" by the arrest of Philip Scott Fournier in her daughter's case.

The arrest in the Maine cold case took place on Friday, and reportedly happened without incident. Fournier is currently being held on the charge of murdered and is scheduled to appear in court in Penobscot County Superior Court on March 7. It is unknown whether or not the Maine cold case accused has hired legal counsel at this time.

More details in the Maine cold case are expected following the suspect's arraignment.

[Image Courtesy Of Penobscot County Jail/Maine Police]