Maine State Police have arrested a 55 year old East Millinocket man and charged him in connection with the beating death of Joyce McLain, 16, of East Millinocket in the summer of 1980.

According to Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland, Philip Scott Fournier, 55, who was 19 at the time of McLain's death was arrested in East Millinocket on March 4 and charged with murder.

McCausland said Fournier was been taken to the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.  His first court appearance will be Monday in Penobscot Superior Court, McCausland said.

Read the arrest affidavit here

According to McCausland, McLain's mother, Pam, was told of Fournier's arrest by detectives at her home shortly after the suspect was in custody.

McCausland provided some background of the 35-year-old case.

"On Friday August 8, 1980, Joyce McLain left her residence that evening to go jogging in an effort to get in shape for soccer," McCausland wrote in a release. "Joyce was well liked student, active in sports and music.  Her body was discovered on the power-line behind Schenck High School Sunday morning (Aug. 10, 1980) ."

McCausland said that the Maine Attorney General's office as well as the State Police and the Medical Examiner's office have continued to investigate the murder for over 35 years. He added that the case got new attention in 2008, when McLain's body was exhumed and reexamined by the medical examiner.

"Since that time, the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory and a team of detectives from the Major Crimes Unit, working closely with the Office of the Attorney General, has comprehensively reviewed and supplemented  the historical investigation with forensic testing, witness interviews and re-interviews and a number of crime scene searches," McCausland said. "Those renewed efforts resulted in the issuance of an arrest warrant and affidavit late yesterday for Fournier." 

Detectives from the Philip Scott Fournier was arrested and charged with murder on on March 4. Photo from Maine Department of Public Safety

McCausland added that Fournier has spoken about McLain's death over the years, and those statements have indicated that he had knowledge of what happened to McClain and that he was possibly involved.

McCausland said that investigators are asking  anyone who Fournier may have confided in over the years about this case to contact the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit in Bangor at 800-432-7381.

According to McCausland, this is the second longest homicide investigation State Police have conducted that has resulted in an arrest.  The longest – just over 36 years - was the homicide of Blanche Kimball of Augusta in 1976 and the arrest of her killer in 2012.