BANGOR, Maine — Penobscot County District Attorney Chris Almy said Wednesday his office is handling release of any information concerning the Jan. 30 death of a University of Maine student, which indicates investigators may have found a suspect.
Investigators believe Jordyn Bakley died as a result of a hit-and-run, but Almy was keeping mum Wednesday about whether officials had identified a suspect.
Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, said Wednesday that the public has been helpful in providing leads about the death of Bakley, a 20-year-old UM junior from Camden majoring in elementary education and women’s studies.
Her body was found in the road in front of 15 Middle St., a block from her apartment, at 5:40 a.m. Jan. 30 by a Bangor Daily News deliveryman.
“Right now, that is being investigated as if it were a homicide, which includes murder and manslaughter,” Almy said.
When asked whether a suspect or suspects have been identified or whether a vehicle has been found, Almy responded, “I’m not going to get into that.”
The public was asked last week to help find a full-size Chevrolet pickup or SUV believed to be a 2003 to 2007 Chevrolet Silverado or Avalanche, with front-end damage.
“The appeal we put out last week did provide some leads that detectives are following up on,” McCausland said. “State police are continuing to work with Orono police.”
Orono police detectives on Tuesday could be seen digging into the snowbank beside where Bakley’s body was found. Capt. Josh Ewing confirmed on Wednesday that officers were looking for evidence from the crash.
The state police crime lab has investigated “just one” vehicle this week, said Ron Kaufman, forensic chemistry supervisor. However, police would not say what type of vehicle is under scrutiny at the crime lab or whether it is related to the Bakley case.
“I’m not going to get into that detail,” McCausland said.
Every time a vehicle that is believed to be involved in a hit-and-run is taken to the crime lab, technicians spend hours going over every inch, Kaufman said.
“The vehicle is examined visually and we look for any damaged areas or items on the vehicle that may have been transferred from the victim, while keeping in mind the transfer of anything from the vehicle to the victim,” he said.
The collected evidence is then “compared with things gathered at the scene and items from the victim,” Kaufman said.
The investigative process doesn’t stop there, he said, adding that even the smallest detail is scrutinized. “It takes us more than half an hour,” unlike TV crime forensics, Kaufman said.
Bakley’s body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta for autopsy just hours after she was found in the street. Multiple blunt force trauma was cited as the cause of death, but the manner of death is pending further investigation.
Bakley was a 2007 graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport and was a competitive swimmer for the school.
She was active in the Diversity Coalition and Water Monitoring Program, according to her obituary.
Bakley was an advocate for a number of humanitarian causes, and spent one summer volunteering for a program that worked to keep inner-city kids off the streets and another as part of a Habitat for Humanity group that built a home in Mississippi, it states.
Anyone with any information on the case is urged to call the Orono Police Department at 866-4451.