Murder by Fire – Unsolved Murder of Michael Cochran in Dedham, ME

On the morning of February 18th, 1981 a fire on Sumac Rd brought authorities to the property. A full 6 days later on the 24th, the body of Michael Cochran was pulled from the debris. Initially, it was believed that cause of Michael’s death was accidental but this fire was later declared an arson and the details of the incident determined that he was likely murdered.

Michael’s cause of death was ultimately the fire due to the level of carbon monoxide in his bloodstream, however he seemed to be on the floor prior to the fire. The area underneath his body was clean glass, indicating Michael was likely unconscious on the glass prior to the fire’s ignition.

Michael lived in the home with his girlfriend, Linda Gray and another man. The night of the fire a man named Paul Pollard, a friend of Michael’s, was seen fleeing from the fire.

Michael’s mother believes that the fire was a result of a drug bust the month before in nearby Holden. One of the men who was arrested in the bust had suspected that Michael had snitched, leading to the arrests even though there was no evidence this occured.

Reports indicate that there was talk of a call from a man jailed on rape and drug trafficking charges to two other men with extensive criminal backgrounds to have Mike “taken care of”. After 4 years, all 3 men were indicted on murder charges but they were ultimately later dismissed due to lack of evidence in the case.

Michael’s mother has written a book and has a website where she continues to pursue justice for her son. She firmly believes that she and the police know who killed Michael, they are just missing the evidence to put them away and successfully convict them in court. She has written a book called, “A Maine Murder” and she continues to run a website for Michael’s case at

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