DA: Orono death may not be hit-and-run

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 16, 2010, at 7:16 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — The death of University of Maine student Jordyn Bakley, whose body was found a block from her Middle Street apartment more than two weeks ago, is being investigated as a possible homicide, Penobscot County District Attorney Chris Almy said Tuesday.

No arrest had been made in the case as of Tuesday.

The possibility that Bakley was the victim of a hit-and-run accident “has not been determined,” Almy said. “It could be a murder. It could be a manslaughter.”

Bakley, a 20-year-old UM junior from Camden majoring in elementary education and women’s studies, died of multiple blunt force trauma; however, the manner of death is pending further investigation.

A Bangor Daily News deliveryman walking down the street found her body in front of 15 Middle St. during the frigid early morning hours of Jan. 30.

He immediately called 911.

“To me, it didn’t look accidental,” he said Tuesday. “That’s really my opinion.”

The deliveryman, who asked not to be identified, said he has been instructed by investigators not to release information about what he saw, so details about what made him think it was suspicious are not available.

“Whatever gets written, it’s being read by that person,” he said, referring to the person who caused Bakley’s death.

Bakley was a 2007 graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport and was a competitive swimmer for the school. Bakley shared a house with a couple of roommates at 27 Middle St., and her friends say they think she was on her way home.

“Even if it was a hit-and-run, the second they drive off — that, to me, is murder,” said the newspaper deliveryman. “You’re sealing someone’s fate.”

He said he is still shaken up by what he saw that morning, an hour before the sun began to rise over Orono.

“I’ve been thinking about it, and it has affected me in ways,” he said. “If it’s nighttime, it gives me the spooks a little bit.”

One of the emotions that he still is experiencing is anger at the person who caused the woman’s death.

“I’m angry,” he said, adding he hopes police arrest someone soon.

“It was pretty devastating,” he said. “It’s hard to get over something you never expected.”

The District Attorney’s Office began handling the release of any information concerning the Orono death last week, which indicates investigators may have found a suspect.

Almy declined to say whether a suspect was being questioned or whether a vehicle was taken into evidence. He also declined to say why a portion of College Avenue near the university was closed to traffic for a while on Saturday evening or why officers were driving a truck on the roadway.

“I’m not getting into that,” Almy said.

The public was asked more than a week ago 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 to residents provided some leads, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, has said.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call the Orono Police Department at 866-4451.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/02/16/news/bangor/da-orono-death-may-not-be-hitandrun/ printed on September 2, 2014