Maine State Police on Friday searched the scene for new evidence in the unsolved murder of 23-year-old Pennsylvania woman whose remains were found in a shallow grave in Newport 37 years ago.

Ellen Choate was driving from Philadelphia to Bangor when she disappeared on June 1, 1975. Newport is 28 miles west of Bangor, and both are along Interstate 95.

Law enforcement officers have kept the investigation of her murder open since June 26, 1977, when Choate’s remains were found in a wooded area off Old County Road, according to state police.

An investigation determined she had died from a gunshot wound to the head approximately two years earlier.

“Ellen Choate was found in a shallow grave in Newport, and we have made the decision to revisit that area today looking for additional evidence that might be related to the case,” said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

McCausland would not say Friday what led police to revisit the case, saying only it was part of a continuing investigation. No person has been arrested in connection with the murder, he said.

“We have six investigators up there, and they will be up there for the rest of the afternoon,” he said.

Choate was on her way to Bangor to begin a teaching job at the time of her disappearance.

Maine State Police list Choate among 68 unsolved homicides in the state, the oldest of which dates back to 1970.

Police asked that anyone with information about the murder of Choate to contact Maine State Police at 941-4071 or toll free at 800-432-7381.

Evan Belanger — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @ebelanger


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