STOCKTON SPRINGS – Family members of a Stockton Springs woman who was beaten to death 35 years ago say they believe they know who killed her, but don’t have concrete evidence.
The last time Dorothea Burke was seen alive by her loved ones was at a family wedding on June 23, 1984. After the wedding, the 63-year-old apparently went to Priscilla’s, a bar in Bucksport that is now known as Glen’s Place.
Her body was found on Meadow Road in Stockton Springs on June 28. She died of blunt force trauma to the head.
“It was at my sister’s wedding. And everything was going great. And then after the wedding. … It was my aunt’s birthday as well, it was Dorothea’s birthday as well, and we couldn’t find her. She come amongst the missing,” said Roxanne Smith, the missing woman’s niece. “Two days later, somebody had found her body on a back road.”
“She was killed and we’re still living with it today. Unsolved,” said her sister Pat Eaton, another of Burke’s nieces.
“We all had assumptions at the time … but people who have more information will not come forward,” she added.
The sisters said they believe they know who killed their aunt.
“He was causing a problem at my sister’s wedding. He was in a fighting mood,” said Smith.
That information was given to law enforcement 35 years ago.
“They have the same suspicions but they need it in concrete before they can or will do anything,” Smith said. “It’s hard when I see him but I can’t do anything when the law says they can’t do anything.”
The sisters believe that with advancing scientific technology there’s a chance the cold case could be solved.
“We can always hope,” Eaton said.
“People say, ‘How can you remember that?’ And I say, ‘How can you forget that?’ Can’t forget it,” Smith said. “We can’t move on.”
“Justice, closure for the family, her family, for the town that loved her,” is what Eaton said she wants. “Stockton, Sandy Point, everybody knew her. Everybody loved her.”