A seventh grade student from Maranacook Community Middle School has been identified as the 14-year-old girl killed Monday night at her Mount Vernon home.

Brooke McLaughlin Courtesy photo

Brooke McLaughlin was identified Thursday by Superintendent Jay Charette, who wrote a note to the school community sharing the news of the student’s death.

Charette did not explicitly reference the killing in his note about the “tragic event,” but he confirmed in an interview later Thursday that the girl’s death was the active police homicide investigation, which the Maine State Police then corroborated.

“We’re working with Crisis & Counseling now to set up sessions with students and staff,” Charette said in the interview.

He said McLaughlin has step-siblings in the school district.

“Although we don’t know the circumstances of this tragic event, we are working with various agencies to offer our support in a timely and appropriately sensitive manner to our students and staff given the nature of this tragedy,” Charette wrote in his note to the school community.


Charette said that as a representative of Regional School Unit 38, “we send our condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Brooke McLaughlin. Our thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family in their time of need as we mourn the loss of their child.”

State police are investigating the death and released details of the case for the first time Wednesday night. They said McLaughlin’s body was discovered at home by her mother, but have not disclosed how she was killed.

Asked Thursday for the cause and manner of death, a spokesperson for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner would only confirm the office had conducted an autopsy on McLaughlin and was not yet releasing further information.

Investigators also said someone had stolen a red 2010 Chevrolet Impala from the victim’s home on the day of the killing. Police later found the car in Wayne.

Officials have asked that anyone with information on the case, including anyone who saw the Impala on Monday or Tuesday, call the Maine State Police at 207-624-7076.

“No arrests have been made as of yet,” Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding McLaughlin’s death.”



While police investigate the death, people who knew McLaughlin said in interviews Thursday she was kind, outspoken when she needed to be and deeply devoted to her friends and family.

“Brooke was just firm and confident in her beliefs,” said Rick Sirois, dean of students at Maranacook Community Middle School. “She’d sometimes ask to eat lunch in my office. We’d have casual conversation about life in general, and she was always a pleasure.”

McLaughlin, whom Sirois described as being resilient and “super protective” of her family, seemed to be “mature beyond her years” and would seek out Sirois if anyone was mistreating any of her friends.

She was also very fond of animals, particularly her bearded dragon lizard, Ziggy.

“She’d talk about trips to the pet store to get crickets or taking Ziggy to the vet,” Sirois said, “and I’d commend her on the bearded dragon and the great care she provided for it.”


Sirios also relayed comments from school teachers and staff members, who he said were taking McLaughlin’s loss hard. They described her as feisty, independent and loyal. They also said she was a hard worker who wanted to succeed, and would seek out trusted adults for guidance.


While school officials are now focused on providing counseling and support for the school community in the aftermath of McLaughlin’s death, they will likely hold a remembrance gathering for her “to pull everyone back together and commemorate her.”

“She had a big impact on our community,” he said, “and this is going to be a shock to us.”

McLaughlin was described in her obituary sent to the Kennebec Journal as a “kind, loving, very thoughtful, big hearted, strong person who loved her family and friends that she had so much joy spending time.”

She enjoyed campfires, music, shopping, swimming, animals, four-wheeling, ice fishing, hiking and hanging out with friends.

Shaley Baker, who said McLaughlin was her best friend after they met about three years ago, said McLaughlin was “a bright young woman” who often “had a smile on her face, no matter the demons she was fighting.”

“She was always there for people when they needed her, and she always knew the right things to say to make people smile and laugh,” Baker said in an interview. “She was goofy and fun. I know that if I was having a bad day, Brooke would be right there cheering me up.”

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