PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Investigators remained at the scene of a residence Tuesday evening that Maine State Police believe was once frequented by a woman who has been missing for nearly 13 years.
Maine State Police Detective Joshua Haines said that evidence response team technicians continued to execute a search warrant at a location in Presque Isle that could be connected to the Starlette Vining case.
The building is in an alleyway at the corner of State and Main streets, between the Star City Trading Post and Pawn Shop and The Cubby Thrift Store. Police are not releasing the name of the building owner.
Investigators with the Maine State Police and 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.
According to Vining’s missing person profile on the state police website, she last worked at Smythe’s IGA in Presque Isle. That store closed in July 2007.
Described as a dependable employee, Vining suddenly stopped going to work in the fall of 1998 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.
Haines said that family members reported her missing in October 2006. The detective said that the family was not really close and that Vining tended to relocate often. She did not always keep in touch with them, but she was never out of their 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 beginning 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.
While Haines acknowledged that there are “lots of rumors” circulating in the city about the case, there have been no breakthroughs. The search and investigation is ongoing.
Haines said that recent information has led investigators to believe people in the community may have further knowledge about the circumstances of her disappearance. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Adam Stoutamyer with the Maine State Police at 532-5400 or 800-924-2261.