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A man accused of killing a 19-year-old Bar Harbor woman was recorded on a security camera dragging her lifeless body across a school playground toward a wooded area where the body was later found, according to an affidavit filed in court by Maine State Police.
Mikaela Conley died of blunt force trauma to her head and by strangulation, Detective Tom Pickering of Maine State Police wrote in the affidavit, which was publicly released Friday.
The three-page document, which describes details in the alleged murder of Conley, had been impounded at the request of the Maine attorney general’s office, but was released Friday after the court rescinded the impoundment order.
Jalique Keene, 21, a Bar Harbor man who had attended grade school and high school with Conley, has been charged with murder in her death. He remains held without bail at Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth after entering no plea at his first court appearance last week.
The document indicates that Conley had driven to Boston on Thursday, May 31, to pick up Keene at Logan Airport, and then had driven him back to Bar Harbor. Keene later told police he had hung out with Conley at her home on Eden Street, across the street from Conners Emerson School, and in the vicinity after arriving in Bar Harbor.
Keene, who had played running back for the Mount Desert Island High School football team before graduating in 2015, had recently finished playing football for an amateur team in Serbia, the Kraljevo Royal Crowns, according to a friend and coach, and is believed to have been returning from Europe when Conley met him at the airport. The affidavit does not indicate where Keene was returning from when Conley picked him up.
A video recorded by Conley on her phone and uploaded to Snapchat around 2 a.m. on June 1 showed her and Keene at the playground at the school, Pickering wrote in the affidavit. The document does not describe what Conley and Keene were doing in the video.
Comments by Keene and physical evidence collected by police suggest that Conley and Keene had sex at the school playground in the early morning hours of June 1, but Keene told police it was consensual, according to the document. Keene told police it was the first time he and Conley ever had sex with each other, and that she “became upset” after they did so, which prompted a physical altercation.
Keene told police he left her at the playground around 3:30 a.m. on June 1 and that he never saw her again.
Pickering wrote in the affidavit that security cameras mounted outside the school building recorded Conley and Keene walking around and hanging out on the property.
“At 3:36 a.m. a male appearing to be Jalique [appeared] at her side and after some sort of interaction, he is seen picking her up over his shoulder and walking off with her as she is kicking her feet,” the detective wrote.
Footage recorded hours later by the same camera showed Keene, after the sun had risen, “come from around a row of bushes into the open holding an apparently lifeless Mikaela by her wrists pulled over his back with her body draped on his back and hastily dragging her across the screen toward the area where her body was later found.”
What kind of screen Pickering refers to is not clear from the document. He said that no other people were observed on the video footage in the presence of Keene or Conley.
Tim Feeley, spokesman for the state attorney general’s office, which is prosecuting the case, and Keene’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker of Ellsworth, each declined to comment Friday.
Until now, few details have been released about the killing, which has shocked many local residents in Bar Harbor, a summer tourist destination that was just getting busy with visitors when Conley went missing on May 31. Searchers found her body two days later, on Saturday, June 2, in woods adjacent to the school.
Conley’s death is the first alleged murder on Mount Desert Island since 2006 and the first alleged murder in Bar Harbor in recent memory.
Conley’s close friends and family have declined to comment about the matter or about the people involved, as have close friends and family of Keene. Before the release of the affidavit, police had not released any information about the alleged murder, other than to say they believe Keene is responsible.
On Saturday, June 9, Conley’s family held a gathering for friends and community members to remember her at their restaurant 2 Cats on Cottage Street in downtown Bar Harbor, which is located only a few hundred yards away from where her body was found. A public vigil for Conley was held on the local Village Green on June 11.
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