UM student’s death a possible hit-and-run

Posted Jan. 30, 2010, at 10:06 a.m.
Orono Police and State Police investigate scene where the body of a young woman was found on Middle Street in Orono Saturday morning. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)
BDN
Orono Police and State Police investigate scene where the body of a young woman was found on Middle Street in Orono Saturday morning. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)
Orono Police and State Police investigate the scene where the body of a young woman was found on Middle Street in Orono Saturday morning. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)
BDN
Orono Police and State Police investigate the scene where the body of a young woman was found on Middle Street in Orono Saturday morning. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)

ORONO, Maine — The body of a University of Maine student who apparently was hit and killed by a car late Friday night or early Saturday morning underwent an autopsy at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta on Sunday afternoon.

“We’re really not much further in the investigation,” Capt. Josh Ewing of the Orono Police Department said Sunday evening after he received initial results from Detective Andrew Whitehouse, who was at the autopsy.

Jordyn Bakley, 20, of Camden, was found dead in the roadway in front of 15 Middle St. by a Bangor Daily News deliveryman early Saturday.

Ewing said that police are treating the case as a possible homicide.

“We do believe there was a vehicle involved, based on the scene,” he said. “We’re investigating the incident as a hit-and-run.”

Police are asking the public for help.

“Anybody who saw a vehicle in the area between midnight and 5:40 a.m. [Saturday] should call,” Ewing said. “It might be helpful to us.”

Her body was taken to the medical examiner’s office on Saturday and the autopsy was completed Sunday.

Results of the autopsy were not being released to the public on Sunday, a representative from the medical examiner’s office said.

“We are withholding information at this time pending further investigation,” she said, adding that the order came from Dr. Marguerite DeWitt, the state’s deputy chief medical examiner.

Police on Saturday collected evidence at the scene and were “working to track the vehicle involved” and looking for the driver, Ewing said.

“At about 5:40 [Saturday] morning a person delivering newspapers found a body,” Orono Police Chief Gary Duquette said at the scene a few minutes after Bakley’s body was removed from the street at 9:45 a.m.

Bakley had no identification on her, so police did not immediately know her name. She was a UMaine junior studying elementary education, Joe Carr, university spokesman, said Saturday afternoon.

“This is an unspeakable tragedy, and our sincere sympathies go out to Jordyn’s family and friends,” Robert Dana, UMaine vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said in a statement. “The UMaine community is a close-knit one, and Jordyn’s death will have a significant and lasting impact on many of our students, faculty and staff.”

After Bakley’s body was discovered, the narrow roadway between Beech and Pleasant streets was closed to traffic as investigators from Orono and Maine State Police worked the scene.

“We have no idea how long she was lying there,” Duquette said.

The deliveryman said Saturday morning that he was walking down Middle Street delivering papers to the four customers on that road when he came upon the body. He immediately called 911.

“I’m shaky,” he said. “It’s kind of nerve-racking.”

After finding the body, the delivery man went to the Circle K convenience store on Main Street to wait for his district manager and to get warm on the frigid morning, assistant store manager Janice Nye said.

“He came in and was really distraught,” she said. “He wouldn’t tell me” what had happened, but “he didn’t want to finish his route. Poor guy.”

The owners of Woodman’s Bar & Grill in Orono were donating a portion of Saturday evening’s food and drink sales to the family.

“I know her friend group really well and I just want to do whatever I can,” Abe Furth, part owner of the restaurant, said Saturday.

“We raised $300 from Woodman’s and two customers gave $10 each so we have $320,” Mark Horton, also a part owner, said Sunday. “Our hearts go out them. To have a 20-year-old daughter tragically taken from them is heartbreaking. It’s a really sad event.”

The unanswered questions behind the hit-and-run are troubling, he said.

“I wonder if someone had called right then, and gotten [her] medical attention, if she would had been all right,” Horton said.

Bakley, who lived off campus, graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School in 2007, where she was a competitive swimmer, according to Bangor Daily News articles.

On her Facebook page, which is private, she posted a saying: “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”

UMaine’s Counseling Center, which can be reached at 581-1392, is offering counseling to UMaine community members dealing with Bakley’s death, Carr said in a statement.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case or who was in the area on Friday night or early Saturday to call them at 866-4451. Detective Andrew Whitehouse is the lead investigator.

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