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More than 35 years after the murder of Maine teen Joyce McLain, authorities have arrested a man in connection with her killing.
Philip 'Scott' Fournier, 55, is charged with murder and was taken into custody around 11:00 a.m. Friday, authorities announced at a press conference.
Joyce McLain was just 16 when she disappeared while out jogging the evening of August 8, 1980 near her home in East Millinocket. Her partially clad body was discovered two days later near Schenck High School where she was about to enter her sophomore year. She had been hit in the head and neck with a blunt object.
Fournier was 19 at the time of the murder, and several people have said the teens knew one another. According to an arrest affidavit, Fournier confessed to the crime to a church pastor and his mother in the early 1980s, and has made statements to a number of other people indicating his knowledge and involvement in Joyce's death.
U.S. District Judge John Woodcock publicly identified Fournier as a person of interest in the teen's killing when he sentenced him to 6 1/2 years in prison for possession of child pornography in 2009. Fournier was released in January 2015.
On the night of Joyce’s murder, Fournier reportedly stole an oil truck and crashed into another vehicle, an accident that put him in a coma for eight days. The theft's timing left investigators wondering what led to Fournier's erratic behavior.
In 2008, members of the community reportedly pooled their money to help have Joyce's body exhumed and examined in the hope that new evidence would be uncovered. As a result of new and old evidence, including some collected in 2008 and over the past several months, officials say they were able to make an arrest.
"As with any homicide investigation, you have one opportunity to prove your case in court," Maine State Police Col. Robert Williams told reporters. "This is a very complex case. There have been literally generations of state police that have worked on it."
Joyce's mother, Pamela McLain, was notified shortly after Fournier was arrested. "She has been living a nightmare for the last 35 1/2 years," Col. Williams said. "There's a lot of relief in the community that this has finally come to a conclusion."
Fournier is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.