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Volume CXXXIII, Number 3
September 26, 2003

Authorities capture man in Colby murder case

As members of the Colby College community cope with the recent abduction and murder of 21-year-old Dawn Rossignol '04, police announced Wednesday that suspect Edward J. Hackett is being held at the Kennebec County Jail.

Forty-Seven year-old Hackett is expected to be accused by the state Attorney General's office of abducting and killing Rossignol early on September 16. Hackett, who arrived in Maine six months ago, is in violation of parole from a Utah prison, where he served nine years for a similar crime.

Rossignol, preparing to go to a doctor's appointment in Bangor, was allegedly abducted by Hackett at the Colby College Hillside parking lot and taken by force to Rice Rips Road.

Authorities have not yet stated whether Rossignol was sexually attacked nor have they released information regarding what weapons, if any, were used.

Although details about the crime, including the cause of death remain sealed, police recognize that no prior relation existed between Hackett and the victim.

"This was a random act of violence. There was no connection whatsoever between Miss Rossignol and Mr. Hackett," State Police Lt. Timothy Doyle said. "Their paths happened to cross that morning."

Hackett was taken into custody on Monday. Convicted of theft in Utah in 1979, he has been charged with numerous rapes, assaults, abductions, and robberies in the past. Hackett has escaped at least twice, and holds criminal records in various states, including Texas, Maine, California, and Connecticut.

Police will not yet reveal the way in which Hackett was linked to this particular crime, however, since Hackett is a convicted felon, his fingerprints and DNA are available on record in Utah for possible comparison to that evidence found at the murder site.

While the suspected killer is under close watch, Colby community members are still urged to follow the safety guidelines suggested after the murder. Women are carrying whistles and traveling in pairs or groups. Students are more cautious about suspicious individuals around campus.

Bowdoin students, too, continue to cope with a "neighborhood" murder that took place not more than 40 miles from their campus.

"It's disconcerting to be walking around alone at night with the idea that someone's been murdered close by. The murder brings to our attention that the Bowdoin campus is accessible to anyone. There is no fence surrounding its borders," Rachel Wilder '07 said.

Still, news of a captured suspect brought relief to the Waterville and Colby communities.
Waterville Police Chief John Morris said, "This is such a great relief for the community. People tonight can take a sigh of relief recognizing this person is in the jail."

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