Renee Ordway, a longtime crime reporter and columnist for the Bangor Daily News, has been hired by the Maine Attorney General’s Office to serve as the victim advocate for its new cold case squad.

Ordway will join Detectives Jay Pelletier and Bryant Jacques of the Maine State Police, Lara Nomami from the AG’s office and Alison Gingras, a forensic chemist with the state’s crime lab.

“In her 30-year career in journalism, Renee has demonstrated an ability to give voice to victims in a manner that has earned her a reputation for fairness and compassion,” Attorney General Janet Mills said in a statement. “We are very pleased to have the unit at full complement and working on these difficult cases.”

There are roughly 100 unsolved homicide or missing persons cases in Maine dating back several decades. The Legislature in 2014 approved the creation of an unsolved homicide unit or cold case squad but didn’t authorize funding for it until last year. It has taken several months to put a team in place.

Lt. Jeffrey Love, who oversees the state police’s involvement, said the team is made up of “committed veterans and professionals.”

“There will not be instant results, but the team assembled have vast experience as they work with the Attorney General’s Office to continue to investigate the state’s unsolved homicides,” Love said in a statement.

Ordway was a police and courts reporter for the Bangor Daily News for many years and then a columnist for the paper for several more years. Most recently, she served as news director for a local television station in Bangor.

Her new job will be to work with victim families throughout the process of trying to bring closure to their cases. Although many cold cases remain unsolved, the advances in forensic investigative tools and DNA evidence have given police new tools to tackle old cases.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

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