LePage Administration to Apply for Grant to Create a Cold Case Homicide Squad

April 14, 2014

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 14
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Only days after requesting financial support from Maine’s Congressional Delegation to create a Cold Case Homicide Squad in Maine, Governor Paul R. LePage learned today that the federal government has announced funding is available.

“Maine has 120 cold cases, and every single case has a family waiting for answers,” said Governor LePage. “The Executive Branch will be proactive and apply for one of these grants to help enable experts solve these horrific unsolved crimes.”

The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice is now accepting applications for a new grant that would make available up to $300,000 in federal funding to support a cold case unit. The Maine Department of Public Safety will submit an application to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice in the coming days.

After U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice made the announcement, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills and U.S. Representative Mike Michaud issued a press release indicating the two had been working on securing funding. Governor LePage, who has been working for a year to create a cold case unit, noted the lack of communication from Mills and Michaud to the LePage Administration.

“This should be an issue we can all come together on for the sake of bringing closure to these families,” said the Governor. “It’s simple the right thing to do. This is no time for the Attorney General to play political favorites. Had the Attorney General or Congressman communicated with our office about this matter, we may have been able to act more quickly in preparing the application. These families have waited long enough. The quicker we secure funding, the quicker these cases can be reopened.”

In a letter to Maine’s Congressional Delegation, Governor LePage wrote Friday to request financial support to create a cold case homicide squad to be dedicated exclusively to unsolved homicides. Governor LePage requested federal funding due to budget constraints on the State. The Department of Public Safety is now underfunded and understaffed and is unable to fund the homicide team.