28 years ago a 14-year-old Maine Central Institute student was reported missing. Maine State Police later determined it was a homicide after they found his body in Mill Pond.
“Somebody told us that this tragedy had occurred,” said Rosalie Williams, a former faculty member at MCI, "that a young boy had drowned in the Mill Pond.”
“We were devastated, of course,” she added later. “Devastated because we would not have expected that to happen among our school pupils. And just because it was a human being at a very young age who had long his life.”
According to a Maine State Police Facebook post, Pittsfield teen Christopher Rines was last seen alive by his friends on April 12, 1991. The group had been drinking in a gravel pit off Sebasticook Street. Rines reportedly got into a fight with one of his friends and left, heading towards town, and Mill Pond.
His jacket was found in the pond about three weeks later. Five Maine State Police divers went into the water on May 2 and found his body about 30 feet from shore in 6 feet of water.
“It certainly cast a pall over our school,” Williams said. “I knew his mother because she was my Avon lady.”
April 12 shares an anniversary with another unsolved homicide in Maine -- the death of Thomas Huntley in Winslow.
Huntley's burned body was found inside his Route 137 home, and the Maine State Police joined the investigation when the Fire Marshal's Office determined it was suspicious.
An autopsy determined Rines died by drowning, State police told a local newspaper at the time, adding additional information from the autopsy would not be released.
Police received several tips, including one that a group of men threw the teenager into the water.
“I think it was a mean-spirited thing that happened probably,” Williams speculated. “I don't think he slipped into the Mill Pond.”
“It's as mysterious at this moment as it was then,” the former teacher added. “And perhaps that's why I can't say very much. Because we never knew very much.”