The Murder of Ashley Erin Ouelette – Saco, Maine Unsolved

Ashley Erin Ouelette was born on March 29th, 1983 and at 15 years old and had recently started to put some recent struggles with adolescence behind her. She started a new school at Thornton Academy and her grades were coming up. Her progress was noted by her parents so when she asked on a school night to sleep over friend Alia Page’s house, they said yes. A choice they would live to regret.

It was February 9, 1999 and Ashley’s parents assumed that Alia’s parents would be home, but they weren’t and the teens hosted a small party. The trouble seemed to start when the girls decided to venture out with Ashley wanting to go see Stephen Sanborn, the 18 year old brother of a classmate that was at the party, Daniel Sanborn just after midnight at their white doublewide trailer home on 50 Mast Hill Road. Ashley had a prior relationship with Stephen, but he had moved on with a new girlfriend and he did not return her calls.

Ashley by all reports made it to the Sanborn house where she reportedly said that her parents had thrown her out in order to be able to stay the night.

Around 3:57 am on 4/10/1999, 18 year old Mike Lopes and his mother found Ashley’s body facedown in the road on Pine Point Road in Scarborough, ME. She was deceased but her body was still warm, and she was blue with blood around her mouth. Due to the cold, it was clear that her body had not been there for long. Due to the perfect positioning of her arms by her side, it was clear that she was not hit by a car.

Ashley had been strangled and her neck was reportedly broken. There was evidence of recent sexual activity but it was never alluded to as a sexual assault, not quite sure why – since it’s uncertain how consent could have been ascertained.

Daniel Sanborn was narrowed as the focus of the investigation. There were drops of blood found in the home, and there was evidence of recent sexual activity (a used condom) found in the home as well. Grass matching grass found on the body was found in Danny’s car and his story changed several times, usually when it was proven that he was lying. Still, he has never been charged in this case.

Both Daniel and his brother Stephen have developed long criminal records and have spent time in jail over the years for things like Assault, Drug Trafficking and Theft.

A friend of the boys, Angel “Tony” Torres went missing 3 months after Ashley’s death. According to his parents, it was after indicating that he knew what happened to Ashley. He left a party to head to a convenience store on South Street in Biddeford, ME with a friend named Jay Carney, who returned without him. Carney gave excuses Torres left with another, as yet unknown, friend of his. Carney was also on the short list of the last people who saw Ashley alive. Tony has never been found, and was declared dead in 2004. Jay Carney died of an overdose in 2015 at age 36.

Sadly, Ashley’s father passed away 2001. Her mother and Tony’s family deserve justice in this case. The Ashley’s family is offering a $20,000.00 reward for information leading to a conviction in her case. Angel’s family has offered over $15,000 reward for information that leads to his remains or a conviction. As of last year, new tips were continuing to come in a be developed.

https://www.murdershetold.com/episodes/ashley-ouellette

https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/local/cold-cases-maine-ashley-ouellette/97-461389206

https://www.pressherald.com/2019/02/10/20-years-later-a-saco-teenagers-murder-remains-unsolved/

https://medium.com/somebody-knows-something/the-confounding-murder-of-ashley-ouellette-43524dd562c3

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/who-killed-ashley-ouellette-police-seek-new-leads-in-1999-murder-of-maine-student/ar-AATHuVt

https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/crime/theres-a-murderer-walking-amongst-us-maine-state-police-investigating-new-tips-on-1999-murder-of-saco-teen-ashley-ouellette/97-017b3f57-a1e1-4bb8-8669-0debf2302b82

https://www.wmtw.com/article/reward-grows-in-case-of-man-missing-in-maine-for-22-years/37440741#

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2457&dat=19990212&id=iQxbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Lk4NAAAAIBAJ&pg=2881,3161476

https://www.listennotes.com/top-episodes/ashley-ouellette/

https://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=state_police_unsolved&id=10806&v=Article-homicides

The Murder of Michelle Norris

Michelle Norris was the only daughter of 4 children born to Julie Tager and William Darrell Norris. Her parents had married and divorced young, a marriage riddled with alcoholism and abuse allegations. Michelle was the custodial parent but at the time this case takes place, 7 year old Michelle Norris was living in an unstable home. Her mother’s chronic illness had made it impossible for her to care for her 4 children. Michelle’s mother lost custody of her children on 05/27/1988 and her grandmother took custody but just one day later Michelle would go missing.

Michelle went missing 5/28/1988 from a playground in Central Falls, RI, that was visible from her grandmother’s window, and an extensive search was started.

4 days after she went missing, a firefighter recruit assisting in the search located her nude and battered body on a wooded hill behind a local club known as the “Bug Club”. She was naked and face up under brush. She has been beaten, raped and suffocated face down. Her pink t-shirt and purple shorts were noted to be folded beside her.

Several people remain persons of interest in this case and they are still hoping to find resolution to this case. The debris in Michelle’s lungs was insulation, fiberglass and botanical material the police felt indicated that she was suffocated face down in a building and not at the dump site. Her father and her best friend’s stepfather are among the persons of interest in this case. Besides indicating Michelle had been raped, the ME indicated that Michelle’s body had evidence of long term sexual abuse.

Police collected sample of the soil in the building where her father lived, so that it could be tested to see if it matched. I don’t have any record received as to the results of that testing. Her father moved to Florida shortly after Michelle’s body was found and reportedly is aware he is a person of interest in this case.

Her best friend’s stepfather was later convicted of molesting Michelle’s best friend.

The playground where she went missing from was later named for Michelle, in her memory.

Any tips or information on this case can be called into the Rhode Island State Police 401-444-1046.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6PTtZ3Liks

https://www.yourtango.com/2019323858/who-michelle-norris

https://share.crimedoor.com/profile/8yuKlNvCs1J6xio2bRkD

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/rhode-island/2019/06/05/for-three-decades-year-old-death-went-unsolved-then-debris-sample-provided-clue/Vm3btfdJ6qFOfLswm0IMdL/story.html

https://www.facebook.com/friendsfor.michellenorris

The Murder of Amy St Laurent

Amy Elizabeth St Laurent was born on March 12, 1976 in Exeter, NH to parents Diane Elaine Simpson and Dennis James St Laurent.

Amy graduated from South Portland High in 1994 and went to work for Pratt and Whitney, an aviation company in South Berwick, ME, as a Secretary/Technician where she worked for 5 years.

At 25 years old, Amy lived alone with her cat, Alex, in South Berwick, ME. She had moved there to be closer to work. She maintained close ties with her divorced parents and her sister, Julie.

Amy had met a guy, Eric Rubright, 3 weeks earlier in Florida through a mutual friend, and he came to Maine to visit her. They spent the day in Boston, visited the MFA and had dinner before returning to Maine. Once in Maine, they played pool and stopped a pizza place before going to a dance club called the Pavilion. Amy had recently left a long term relationship recently and had been out and about meeting people. She wasn’t romantically interested in Rubright, which might have been what led to the some of the awkwardness of their date, with Amy dancing and playing pool with other men while out with him.

The friend lost track of her when she was hanging around with 2 men, she apparently left the club with them, and he could not locate her though her coat, wallet and cell phone were in the car still. His convoluted story led him to be a suspect for a time, however he had been drinking and ditched by a friend that he flew across the country to see and whom he was staying with. He was also in possession of her purse, jacket and cell phone. I don’t fault the police for going down that rabbit hole thoroughly.

Amy’s last reported sighting was between 2-2:30 am the morning of October 21, 2001 . She was in the company of 21 year old Jeffrey Russell Gorham and his roommate. Reportedly, Gorham had invited her back to his place – which really the place where he was couch surfing for the last 2 weeks, with the idea that they were going to have a Birthday party for the roommate just after 1 am, however no one else besides his roommates ever showed up for the party so she asked to be brought back to the bar to search for Rubright.

Gorman reported that he had dropped her off at the Pavilion just before 2 am. He claimed that after dropping her off at the club, he returned home where he stayed for the night. That said, Gorham was pulled over by Westbrook police at 3:14 am and he was alone in the car at the time. He was released by them at 3:22 am.

Gorham had been living in Florida for only 18 months but he was already in probation in Maine for theft of some stereo equipment at a car dealership that he used to work for. Gorham previously lived in Troy, AL and Delray Beach, FL. Gorham had an extensive juvenile criminal record. Gorham worked as a car detailer and the morning after Amy went missing, he brought his car to work to detail. He said it was because he had a date.

Amy was missing for 2 months. By Monday morning, her parents and her sister were looking for her. After vetting Eric with a polygraph and searching the car, the police already had another suspect in mind, Jeffrey Russell Gorham, but they had no proof and no body. Her family was trying to hold out hope that she was alive however she had not gone to work or been in contact with her family.

Amy’s body was found less than 3/10’s of a mile from Gorham’s mother’s house. She was buried in a shallow grave and she was still wearing the clothes that she had been wearing when she went missing. She had a date rape drug, gbh, in her system and she had been beaten, cause of death officially was a gun shot wound to the head.

https://www.seacoastonline.com/story/news/2001/12/11/body-s-identity-confirmed/51297195007/

https://www1.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/mdoc/search-and-deposit/detail.pl?mdoc_number1=046863/Search

https://law.justia.com/cases/maine/supreme-court/2004/04me90go.html

https://www.amystlaurentfoundation.org/amys-story

https://www.sunjournal.com/2003/07/01/killer-gets-60-years/

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/75552076/amy-elizabeth-st_laurent

https://www.darkdowneast.com/episodes/amystlaurent

Brianna Alexandra Maitland – Missing and Presumed Murdered

Brianna Alexandra Maitland was born 10/8/1986 to Bruce and Kellie Maitland. Brianna grew up with her brother and her parents farm in East Franklin, VT until she moved in with friends after sophomore year in order to attend Enosburg Falls High. She moved around friend’s houses after her initial plans did not work out – at first couch surfing and living out of her car before moving in with Jillian Stout longtime friend, in February of 2004. About this same time, Brianna quit school to pursue to the GED program.

On the day that she disappeared, 17 year old Brianna took her GED test and then went to lunch and shopping with her mother. In the last store they went to, Brianna went outside after noticing something, and when her mother joined her after cashing out Brianna was obviously agitated and maybe scared, but never spoke to her mother about what was bothering her.

She was dropped off her apartment where she was staying with Stout, between 3:30 pm and 4 pm in order to get ready for her shift at the Black Lantern Inn. She had started this job only about 2 weeks before, as a dishwasher. She made in to work and eventually clocked out at 11:20 pm, declining to hang out with coworkers due to having to work her other job in St Albans the next day where she was a server at a diner. Her 1985 Oldsmobile was found the next day about a mile from work, at an abandoned house, known as the Dutchburn House, where it had been backed into the building – with the siding being breached by the car.

Pictures of this are available on the internet due to passerby’s finding the scene odd. Several people went passed the area and saw the car but no one noticed anyone with the car. Her exboyfriend noted the car headlights were on with the doors open on his way home, he shut the car up and went on his way but there was no sign of Brianna. It was later noted 2 of her paychecks were found on the seat. Outside the car, a broken necklace belonging to Brianna, along with loose change a water bottle and an unsmoked cigarette, DNA was found at the scene.

Her mother was not notified of the car being found or the disappearance for 5 whole days. Brianna was officially reported as missing on 3/25/2004. There was a search agency that the parents got involved that later also reported later finding zip ties, Victoria’s Secret underwear and a syringe in a nearby ditch. It is unknown if these items were related. The police had the car towed but they did not take any pictures or investigate the scene further.

One thing that I saw as weird while researching this case was that Brianna left her roommate a note to say that she was going to be home after work. Why? Wasn’t she always? I found that strange. The roommate went away for the weekend and the note was untouched and there was no sign of Brianna, so she reached out to Brianna’s mother which is what started the search process and let her mother know that she was missing.

Rumors spiraled regarding what happened to Brianna. Friends reported that Brianna had recently taken some hard drugs and there were rumors about Brianna being held against her will at a local residence with two drugs dealers from New York that were known to Brianna, named Ramon Ryans and Nathanial Charles Jackson.

This residence was raided on 4/20/2004 and while a significant amount of drugs were found there was no indication that Brianna was there or had been there. An anonymous letter indicated that Brianna was held at this address for 5 days before being killed and stored at another address before being dismembered and disposed of at a pig farm, but there was never any evidence to back up this story.

Police investigated any links to the serial killer Israel Keyes but have ruled him out as a suspect in this case.

Three weeks prior to her disappearance, Brianna was in a physical altercation where she was attacked by a “friend” named Keallie Lacross where she was hit several times in the face – breaking her nose, causing a concussion and blackening her eyes. This was allegedly over a guy. She later pressed charges but they were dropped after Brianna went missing.

Keallie was later involved in another assault and home invasion in an unrelated incident in 2012 where she assaulted and bit the homeowner. Additionally she was charged with DUI and child endangerment in 2013 after being pulled over with a blood alcohol of 0.156 with her infant child in the car.

No further information has been released in regard to her potential involvement in Brianna’s case but anyone who has witnessed a real girl fight in high school knows how these things can go. They don’t have to make sense, as it’s often violence for the sake of violence, and usually is over a guy as it was here.

In March of 2022, Police received the results of the DNA comparison to 11 of the people looked at in this case to DNA found at her abandoned car and have a match. They have not released who the match is, or their planned next steps but there is hope for some new developments after all these years.

Brianna’s body has never been found but foul play is suspected in this case. This family deserves answers. There was a skull found that the police DNA tested but it was found to belong to another person and is not related to Brianna’s case.

Any information on Brianna’s case should be sent to Detective Baker at angela.baker@vermont.gov, or submit an anonymous tip online (https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit).

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disappearance_of_Brianna_Maitland

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/brianna-maitland-missing-since-2004-dna-identified-vermont-state-police/

https://www.maryhallbergmedia.com/post/unsolved-the-disappearance-of-brianna-maitland

https://www.grunge.com/639144/the-biggest-brianna-maitland-theories-what-really-happened/

https://www.facebook.com/BriannaMaitlandmissingfamilypage/

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/missing-brianna-maitland/id1531769965

https://truecrimegarage.com/blogs/true-crime-garage/posts/brianna-maitland-254-255

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