Twenty-nine years ago this past Sunday, 73-year-old Maxine Bitomski was murdered in her Kittery, Maine home.
The Jan. 16, 1993 crime on Colonial Road was never solved, but now Maine State Police say they have identified a suspect.
During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Lt. Scott Gosselin explained that "advances in DNA and forensics sciences technology" in the period since the killing has allowed state police to "identify and interview a suspect but has not yet led to an arrest or formal charges."
"What we’re looking to do is make sure there isn’t information out there that members of the public have that we need so that we can put together a case, to make that arrest," he explained.
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"Just because you have probable cause, there’s an awfully big gap there to get this case beyond a reasonable doubt," he said, adding that police are "asking the public to come forward with any information they may have."
Two of Bitomski’s grandchildren, George White of Hingham, Massachusetts and Candus Cavaretta of Stratham, New Hampshire joined Maine officials for Thursday’s press conference.
In remarks during and after the media briefing, Cavaretta and White described Bitomski as "generous and loving" and said they spent significant time at her home.
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"She was kind, generous and loving, her family was a top priority, she was its matriarch and hub," said White, who also called Bitomski, "the type of grandmother everyone wants to have."
"We have spent the last 10,585 days waiting for a call from the Maine State Police, 'an arrest been made,'" said Cavaretta, who also urged anyone with information to come forward or "if you are the person responsible for (Bitomski’s) murder, please turn yourself in."
Both Cavaretta and White added that they are "happy" with the DNA evidence and latest steps in the investigation but true relief would only come after an arrest and conviction.
"The individual who broke into her home that evening and murdered a 73-year-old woman is a monster and a coward and needs to be held accountable for what happened," said White.
Maine State Police did not release any new information on how Bitomski died but did say Thursday that New Hampshire State Police are not involved in their more recent work on the case.
Their investigation is more focused on Southern Maine at this point.
Anyone with information that might be helpful to the Maine State Police investigation is asked to contact them.