PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Law enforcement agencies in Aroostook County executed a search warrant Monday afternoon at a residence that Maine State Police believe once was frequented by a woman who has been missing for nearly 13 years.
The location in Presque Isle that could be connected to the Starlette Vining case is in an alleyway at the corner of State and Main streets, next to The Cubby Thrift Store. Police are not releasing the name of the building owner.
Maine State Police and the Presque Isle Police Department are seeking information regarding the whereabouts of Vining, who has been missing from the Presque Isle area since September 1998. She would now be 52 years old.
Maine State Police Detective Joshua Haines said that Vining was reported missing in October 2006.
According to Vining’s missing person profile on the state police website, Vining last worked at Smythe’s IGA in Presque Isle. She last appeared for work there in October 1998. Described as a dependable employee, Vining suddenly stopped going to work and never returned to pick up her last paycheck.
Vining’s former husband and her three now-adult children told police that they last saw her in 1998.
“The family reported her missing,” Haines said Monday.
When asked why it took family members so long to report Vining missing, the detective said, “They were not a real close family and she relocated often, so she was not always in touch. But she has never been out of her family’s lives for more than a few years at a time.”
Vining was reportedly an acquaintance of the owner of the residence that was searched in Presque Isle on Monday. The alleyway was partially obstructed by trees but items such as trash and a mattress could be seen outside the doorway. The state police mobile crime unit and members of the evidence response teams were inside the building, along with a state police dog.
Haines said that recent information has led investigators to believe people in the community may have further knowledge about the circumstances of her disappearance. Tips about the case came in over the weekend, according to Haines.
Information about credit card activity or use of her Social Security number was not immediately available.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Adam Stoutamyer with Maine State Police at 532-5400 or 800-924-2261.