BANGOR – It’s been more than 24 years since the brutal beating death of 8-month-old Aisha Dickson — one of only three unsolved homicides in Bangor — but it’s still raw for the couple listed in the baby’s obituary as her “adopted grandparents.”
“When all was said and done, we found out that she had been severely beaten throughout her little life,” said Brian Stormann, a former friend of Aisha Dickson’s parents. “Thirteen ribs were broke, both little arms, both little legs. And we tried. We really tried to no avail.”
No charged have been filed in Aisha’s death. She was home with her parents, Sarah Johnson and Deshawn Dickson, and grandmother June Johnson, who has since died.
Stormann said Dickson confessed in the hospital room shortly after his daughter passed away.
“He said ‘I don’t understand. I’ve done that a lot of times. She can’t be dead,’” Stormann recalled.
When asked if he told police about what Dickson said in the hospital, Stormann replied with an adamant, “Yes.”
Several attempts to reach Dickson were not successful. All three adults in the home are suspects, police say, but lawyered up and never gave investigators thorough interviews.
“If he did it, there is no way she didn’t know he was doing it, and vice versa,” said Shirley Stormann Melancon. “They’re both as guilty in my opinion. And I just really feel that there could have been, whether it was child endangerment or failure to protect or, there could have been some charge against them, but there never was.”
The spokesman for Bangor Police Department referred questions about charges in the case to the Attorney General’s office. Their spokesman responded in an email by saying, “the policy of the OAG is not to comment on open investigations.”
“Should we get new information presented to us we will follow up and any and all leads,” said Bangor police Sgt. Wade Betters.
Sarah Johnson sent Shirley a text on Christmas saying Aisha’s father was living in Texas with another woman but she was still living in Maine. Shirley responded by asking her to come forward and tell the truth about what happened to her daughter.
“I’m bitter,” Stormann Melancon said. “I think that this baby deserves justice. I don’t know why they could not have been charged with something. Even if they don’t know who delivered those blows to that body, her autopsy showed that nearly every bone in her body has been broken and it showed a history of months — of her whole life — of being beaten.”
The Stormanns purchased a bottle of champagne 24 years ago for the day when someone was charged in Aisha’s death. The bottle sits in the fridge and is a daily reminder that the case is still unsolved.