Police looking for clues in death of UM student

Posted Feb. 01, 2010, at 8:56 p.m.

ORONO, Maine— Police continued their search Monday for clues to what they believe to be a fatal hit-and-run here over the weekend. The bruised and battered body of University of Maine student Jordyn Bakley was found early Saturday in the road on Middle Street within a block of her home.

“We don’t have anything to go on yet,” Capt. Josh Ewing of the Orono Police Department said Monday. “We’re still working on retracing her steps.”

As investigators continue to piece together the last minutes of her life, Bakley’s friends gathered together to comfort one another.

Jay Grant, a University of Maine junior, stood outside the house Bakley, 20, of Camden shared with a couple of roommates at 27 Middle St. and said he wasn’t sure where she was Friday evening.

“We saw her that night before she went out,” he said. “I’m not sure where she went, but apparently she was on her way home.”

He said it’s very likely she was either downtown or visiting a friend in the Middle Street neighborhood.

“The girls who lived here didn’t know about [Bakley’s death] until the cops told them Saturday,” Grant said.

Bakley, a UMaine junior studying elementary education, was found dead in the roadway at 5:40 a.m. Saturday in front of 15 Middle St. by a Bangor Daily News deliveryman.

Her body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta on Saturday, and the autopsy was completed Monday.

“The cause of death is multiple blunt force trauma; the manner is pending investigation,” a representative from the medical examiner’s office said Monday afternoon.

Police are not releasing any other information, but are saying they believe there was a vehicle involved, based on their observations at the scene, and are treating the case as a possible hit-and-run homicide.

“We’re treating it as a homicide until we know otherwise,” Ewing said.

Police are again asking the public for help.

“We’re fielding calls and following up on the information, but have got nothing groundbreaking yet,” Ewing said.

Anyone with information about the case or who was in the area between midnight and 5:40 a.m. Saturday when the body was found is urged to call police at 866-4451. Detective Andrew Whitehouse is the lead investigator.

Some residents have said that drivers often speed on the narrow roadway, but police say complaints are few and far between.

“I cannot remember a time when we had issues with speeders” on Middle Street, Ewing said. “I can’t remember any complaints. It’s such a short span there.”

Bakley graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School in 2007, where she was a competitive swimmer, according to Bangor Daily News articles. School principal Nick Ithomitis said Bakley’s family lives near his.

“I can’t imagine what they’re feeling right now,” he said Monday. “I know the community is rallying around her parents and her family. They’re organizing food. They have gone to the home.”

In high school, Bakley “touched a lot of people,” Ithomitis said.

“We’re not a huge high school,” he said. “She had friends across all kinds of groups. It’s a pretty tight-knit community.”

Her UMaine friends are having a hard time believing she’s gone, said her friend Ellie Barker, a UMaine junior. She described Bakley as “joyous to be around.”

“My favorite memory was just dancing with her, clearing everything out of a living room with friends, wherever we were, and dancing,” Barker said Monday in a telephone interview.

Barker said the two friends hadn’t been in close touch for a few weeks because of their busy schedules, although Barker said they saw each other Thursday on campus.

Barker said Bakley was known to be responsible and wasn’t friends with a wild crowd.

“There are a few different types of people on campus, and my group, we’re more into throwing potlucks and dancing,” she said. “She was dedicated to her school, her friends, her life. She wasn’t irresponsible.”

Ewing said he and his officers will not stop working on the case until they find answers for the family.

“It’s just tough on everyone involved,” he said. “By all accounts she was a very happy, well thought of young lady.”

Barker said, “It’s really horrible, what happened to her. I hope they catch the person.”

BDN writer Heather Steeves contributed to this report.

Similar articles:

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business