PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Too often criminal activity gets all the media attention, while the victims go unnoticed. That’s how Charles “Buck” Vining feels the case of his ex-wife has been addressed, with George Jaime, the man accused of her murder, garnering headlines while little has been said about Starlette Vining.
“I want people to know what a good person she was and that she was loved by many,” said Vining, of New York, during a phone interview on Sept. 4.
State police, working with the Presque Isle Police Department, arrested George Jaime Sr., 75, of Presque Isle, the afternoon of July 12, 2012, and charged him with murder in connection with the death of Starlett “Star” Vining. Vining was last seen alive in the fall of 1998 in the Presque Isle area and would have been 38 years old at the time of her death, according to Steve McCausland, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
Jaime was arrested at the pawn shop he owned in the Star City Trading Post building, located at the intersection of State and Main streets. The business has since closed. Police reportedly found evidence in the building which led to Jaime’s arrest, although what was found has not been disclosed.
Jaime remains at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton, awaiting his next court appearance. Jury selection is set for Nov. 4 in Houlton Superior Court.
Buck Vining met Starlette years ago in New York.
“Star was hitchhiking through New York. It was love at first sight for me,” said Vining. “We eventually married and moved to Presque Isle for a time.”
When asked about earlier reports that Star would “disappear” for periods of time, Vining said it was just part of her nature to do so.
“She was a free spirit. She liked camping, fishing. She liked to explore — check out new places, meet new people,” he said.
“We met when I was about 26 and we split up when I was around 32. I’m now living back in New York where we met. Though we drifted apart, I still loved her,” said Vining.
Vining said it’s important for the public to know Star as a person, not just a name.
“I never met George Jaime. I just don’t think it’s fair he’s gotten all the media attention and she’s basically gone unnoticed,” said Vining.
“Star was a mother, she had three kids. You read all about him [Jaime]. It saddens me that so little has been said about her. She was a beautiful person, so carefree. She had friends in California, Tennessee and New York. I’ve been in touch with some of them and they were shocked to hear the news,” he said.
Vining said Star cared about people and they cared about her.
“Star’s more than just a name. I never stopped loving her,” said Vining. “I’d like to see some type of memorial service or remembrance event held for her, so those who loved her could gather and share memories.”
He hopes that more information will come out in time about what happened.
“I hope someone will come forward with more information. Someone has to know something,” said Vining. “I hope someday they find her body, so she can have a proper burial. She deserves at least that much.”
Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call Detective Adam Stoutamyer of the Maine State Police at 532-5400 or 800-924-2261.