AUGUSTA (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Some have waited decades for answers about what happened to their loved ones. Now they are pushing for sweeping changes to help more cold case investigations forward.
Linda Jenkin says her 19-year-old husband Ludger Belanger disappeared following a hunting trip in November 1975. Jenkins, who raised three young daughters on her own, believes her husband was murdered.
She and other families are part of an organization called HAAD Enough Inc. Family members want a more comprehensive database listing the names of homicides victims and missing people in Maine. They claim not all cases are listed on the state's website.
They also want retired law enforcement officers to work on open cases and more access to information to their loved ones' case files.
"We should have a right to look at our case files," Jenkins said. "We should have a right to hire or accept help from volunteers -- retired law enforcement."
"Because it's specific and only a limited people on this earth know the real story," said state Department of Public Safety spokesperson Steve McCausland, "and one of them is the person responsible for the death."
The bill was voted down earlier this year by lawmakers, but it's expected to be introduced in the next session in January.
Officials with the state attorney general’s office told NEWS CENTER Maine anyone with information about persons who are missing under suspicious circumstances that are not listed on the state’s website can contact Maine State Police or Rene Fournier at the AG's office.
Maine has a database that lists missing persons and unsolved homicide cases.
More information on the HAAD Enough organization can be found here