DEDHAM – When local firefighters arrived at a fire on Sumac Road on Feb. 18, 1981, they did not know there was a body inside.
“Micheal was murdered around sometime between 3 and 4 o’clock the morning of the 18th,” said Leola McBreairty-Cochran, mother of homicide victim Michael Cochran. “And his body lay under that pile of rubble for six days. It was the 24th of February before they found his body.”
Investigators originally said that 24-year-old Micheal Cochran’s death was accidental from the fire. But a couple months later, they informed his mother that the fire was set and that his death was an unsolved homicide.
“There were a lot of things that were done that weren’t right,” McBreairty-Cochran said. “I was up against the State of Maine, which was like trying to fighting against a brick wall.
“I know who killed Micheal, the State of Maine knows who killed Micheal but for some unknown reason they wouldn’t touch those men.”
Mcbreairty-Cochran has spent her life investigating her son’s death and even published a book with all the information and interviews she’s collected over the last nearly four decades. She hopes his story can be turned into a crime show.
“The man who was with my son on the night he was murdered, when the fire trucks went in there they saw him running away into the woods,” she said. “That man was protected by the State of Maine. I don’t know why.”
Mcbreairty-Cochran says she believes her son was somehow connected to drug trafficking and that a drug dealer had him killed for being a snitch shortly after there was a big drug bust in nearby Holden.
“One of the men in the sting who was arrested suspected Micheal,” she said.
Detectives over the years have told her that the fire destroyed physical evidence and the fact that the scene was not secure for six days created other problems for the investigation.
“They wanted it to go away,” Mcbreairty-Cochran said.
Maine state police are still accepting tips on this unsolved homicide.