Unsolved Homicide

Seacoast Crime Stoppers to offer reward in Maxine Bitomski cold case

Maxine BitomskiFrom the desk of Shannon Moss DPS PIO.

 On January 16, 1993, Maxine Bitomski was murdered inside her Kittery home. Despite extensive investigative efforts, no one has been arrested for Maxine’s murder, yet. The Maine State Police has made recent progress in the case and is looking for people to come forward with information that will lead to the arrest of Maxine’s killer. On Thursday, January 20, 2021, detectives from the Kittery Police Department and the Maine State Police’s Major Crimes Unit held a news conference in Kittery along with Maxine’s grandchildren to talk about the developments and ask the community can help.  
Recently Seacoast Crime Stoppers announced a $10,000 reward for anyone who provides information that leads to an indictment and/or arrest of a suspect in the Maxine Bitomski unsolved homicide.

Since 1983 Seacoast Crime Stoppers has been funded solely by the generosity of the Seacoast community. Because of that support they have received thousands of tips that have helped law enforcement agencies solve hundreds of crimes.

“Seacoast Crime Stoppers is committed to making our community a better and safer place,” said President Scott Forte. “We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Maxine Bitomski and are hoping that the $10,000 reward we are offering can help bring a resolution to the unsolved homicide investigation.
 If you have any information about the Maxine Bitomski case please visit https://www.seacoastcrimestoppers.com/submit-a-tip/ or call 207.439.1199. The reward is eligible for anyone who provides a tip that leads to an indictment or an arrest. Seacoast Crime Stoppers can only make rewards and efforts like this possible with the generosity of our community. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Seacoast Crime Stoppers today at https://www.seacoastcrimestoppers.com/donation”

Daughter of unsolved homicide victim pleads with killer to come forward on 45th anniversary of murder

Dorothy MillikenFor Immediate Release
November 4, 2021 

From the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO

Feisty, quick-witted, with a deep love for her family. That’s how Tonia Ross remembers her mother Dorothy “Dottie” Milliken, a 27-year-old mother of three who was beaten to death outside a Lewiston Laundromat more than four decades ago. Tonia was just seven years old when her mother was killed. “The loss doesn’t go away. It’s something you think about every single day” said Ross.

On Saturday, November 6, 1976, at approximately 4:40 a.m. Dorothy’s body was found lying outside Beal’s Laundromat at 969 Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Dorothy usually did her laundry in the mornings along with her daughter Tonia but on Friday, November 5, 1976 she decided to do her laundry at night as she was preparing to return to work that Monday from maternity leave. Dorothy left her home around 11 p.m. Friday night after her husband went to bed. Dorothy’s body was discovered by a newspaper delivery person the following morning. An autopsy revealed she died from blunt force trauma to the head.

 “Your first boyfriend, first school dance, you get married, have children, all those big life moments that come along and there’s a void because you wish you could talk to your mom and share those moments with her. Even the everyday things. It never goes away; it never goes away” said Ross.

Dorothy’s daughters say it’s time for the person responsible for their mother’s murder to come forward.

“It’s time. I deserve, my sister and my family deserve closure and it’s not fair that the person who did this has just gone on through life without a conscience like it’s ok, because it’s not ok. It’s not ok to take a life” said Ross.  “They should come clean, they should get it off their chest and bring me, my sister and my family closure.”

“These kinds of cases are the most challenging to work on,” said Michael Chavez, the primary detective who has been investigating the case since 2012 after he was promoted into the State Police Major Crimes Unit.  “Over the years, a number of other State Police Detectives have been working on this case and we have still yet to uncover both the motivation for the crime and the person responsible.”  

Since taking on the case, Chavez said that the more he drills down into the depths of the case, the more he feels he’s closer to uncovering the truth.  “It’s all there in these old reports,” Chavez said, referring to several 
swollen blue binders that house the Milliken case files.  “There’s no doubt in my mind that the person who did this was so consumed by anger that they made a conscious effort to brutally strike down an unarmed woman 
without thinking twice about the consequences.  To make things worse, this person had the audacity to just walk away, which left the family consumed by anger, regret and sorrow.”  

Dorothy’s family is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.

“I don’t hate the person who did it. I forgive the person who did it. But it’s time for us to know what happened” Ross said. 

Detective Chavez encourages anyone who may have additional information including any person who may have participated in this event to come forward to make things right. 

If you have information on this case please contact the Maine State Police, Major Crimes South, One Gray Farm Rd. Gray, ME 04039 or call 207.228.0857.

Brother of Homicide Victim Raises Money for Reward 

UPDATE: Recently another a Good Samaraitan donated an additional $2,000, bringing the reward to $12,000

From the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO

On the evening of September 24, 2015 the Caribou Fire Department responded to a residential building fire on lower Lyndon Street in Caribou. After putting the fire out firefighters discovered the body of the homeowner 58 year-old Kenneth Zernicke.  Zernicke’s death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, but the case was never solved. 

Zernicke’s home is located near a busy four-way intersection and Maine State Police detectives have always hoped someone saw something that would help with the investigation.

“It’s a small town and somebody knows what happened to my brother. I just want someone to come forward and do the right thing. I’m hoping this reward will help do that” said Zernicke’s brother Joe Bourgoine. 
Bourgoine has spent the past six years saving money to offer up a reward that he hopes will provide answers.

The reward being offered is $10,000. If anyone has information about the case they are asked to contact the Maine State Police.

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