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East Millinocket continues to seek 'Justice for Joyce'

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Online petition requests FBI's involved in McLain homicide

EAST MILLINOCKET - The family of Joyce McLain has been waiting close to 32 years for the teenage girl's killer to be brought to justice. Now they're hoping an online petition requesting that the FBI take over the case will bring them the closure they've been looking for.

"I have tried to get the FBI involved off and on for years. But the Attorney General's office refuses. The AG controls unsolved murder cases in Maine," explained Pam McLain, Joyce's mother. "[Deputy Attorney General] Stokes [who wrote to my friend Fran Ouellette] said, 'State Police and this office would be happy to have the assistance of the FBI and share all information with the FBI if that department wanted to become involved.' "

But it's not that easy. According to State Police Spokesman Steve McCausland, the homicide of Joyce McLain is not within the FBI's jurisdiction.

"The FBI has assisted us in the past, but this is outside the FBI's jurisdiction to handle a homicide as no federal crime was involved here," explained McCausland.

Still, the McLain family, friends and the community would like some answers. They're hoping the online petition created last week by Pam McLain's friend Judy Turcotte will prompt the Attorney General's office to share its case files with the FBI, who just might be able to find some new or overlooked evidence that could lead to a conviction in the unsolved murder. That petition has already collected over 2,500 signatures.

"Service men are even taking the time to do it," said McLain.

Back in August of 1980, 16-year-old Joyce McLain went out for a jog around 7 p.m. and never returned home. Two days later, her lifeless body, found partially naked and beaten, was discovered behind the Schenck High School soccer field. McLain's mother said she always feared something tragic would happen to her daughter.

"Before she died, I had a terrible thought something was going to happen to her and I felt like an unfit mother because what mom would think that, but it got to be so strong when she got older," explained McLain. "I thought it was going to be an accident on the highway because she was in so many different school functions. I thought she'd be on the school bus and be the only child that didn't survive. My mind was on a highway [accident], not murder."

In 2008, Joyce McLain's body was exhumed in hopes of finding DNA that would lead to her killer.

"Dr. Peter Cummings [a former Millinocket resident], Dr. Henry Lee and Dr. Michael Baden of Massachusetts did the autopsy and several different DNA was found," said McLain.

Since then, McLain has been given no new information by state police or the Attorney General's office.

"I think we need a change in the state of Maine to get cases out of AG's office after 5 years so parents, family, and loved ones can have a say on what can be done. We may want another agency or private investigator to look into it," explained McLain.

"We understand the frustration of Joyce's family, friends and the Millinocket community and we feel the same frustration but this case remains active and in the hands of a detective from state police and will remain open until solved," said McCausland.

To view the online petition to get the FBI involved in the McLain case, log onto http://signon.org/sign/its-time-for-maines-attorney.

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