Industry man charged in 1980 murder to appear in court Thursday

Standing next to attorneys, Jay S. Mercier (center) made his initial appearance at Skowhegan District Court via video Friday afternoon, Sept. 30, 2011. With the help of modern forensic science, prosecutors had a break in the 31-year-old homicide case. Mercier was arrested Wednesday and charged with the murder of Rita St. Peter whose body was found in Anson in 1980.
Standing next to attorneys, Jay S. Mercier (center) made his initial appearance at Skowhegan District Court via video Friday afternoon, Sept. 30, 2011. With the help of modern forensic science, prosecutors had a break in the 31-year-old homicide case. Mercier was arrested Wednesday and charged with the murder of Rita St. Peter whose body was found in Anson in 1980.
Posted Oct. 05, 2011, at 4:06 p.m.
Rita St. Peter
Courtesy photo
Rita St. Peter

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A 55-year-old man charged with murdering a young woman 31 years ago in a small central Maine town will make his initial court appearance Thursday.

A hearing for Jay Mercier of Industry will be held in Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan. He was charged last week in the death of 20-year-old Rita St. Peter, whose battered body was found near the side of a road in Anson on July 5, 1980.

Maine State Police said St. Peter had been drinking in a bar in Madison the night before her body was discovered and last was seen crossing a bridge from Madison to Anson. Police have declined to specify what type of evidence pointed toward Mercier.

Police say it is the oldest murder case in Maine in which an arrest has been made.

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