AUGUSTA – People are tired of criminals having more rights than their victims and a group of people is asking the legislature to correct that.
In Maine, nearly 80 homicides are unsolved. Plus there are another 30 missing persons cases that remain open.
Survivors, family members and those left behind said they believe they’ve been kept in the dark for far too long.
Although, Traci Leeman’s father went missing in the 1970’s, her family believes he was murdered. She said “In f40 years, the three children my dad had went on to have 19 grandchildren.”
The bill would require police to hold a news conference annually on the date of the murder or disappearance of the victim.
Richard Moreau last saw his then-17-year-old daughter, Kimberly, May 9th, 1986. “Any of us can accept the fact that we lost a loved one. What we can’t accept is the fact that somebody has just taken that individual and just buried him somewhere or put him in a well. That’s the part I can’t accept.” stated Moreau.
If approved the legislation also would require police to create a public website containing information about unsolved murder and missing person cases. More than 40 years ago, Llnda Perkins’ husband went hunting and never returned. She stated “The detectives today, I mean they’ve told me and said, they don’t have time. They get called out on other cases. They’re limited. And they just don’t have time. And I understand that.”
Surviving family members said one of the most critical parts of the proposal is that if the case remains unsolved after a decade, they can require police to call in federal law enforcement.
Now the Legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee Members must decide whether to recommend passage of this bill. That could happen within the next few weeks.