MOUNT VERNON — Maine State Police arrested a juvenile male Saturday in connection with the homicide of 14-year-old Brooke McLaughlin, whose death has shocked this small town in the Belgrade Lakes region.

McLaughlin was found deceased in her home on Blackberry Road by her mother just after 6 p.m. Monday, investigators said. The state Office of Chief Medical Examiner determined her death was a homicide.

On Saturday morning, State Police detectives arrested a boy who lives in Maine and charged him with murder, said Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Brooke McLaughlin Courtesy photo

A seventh-grader at Maranacook Community Middle School, McLaughlin and the boy knew each other, Moss said in a written statement. The boy was taken to Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.

Police were not releasing the boy’s name or address, or any further details of the investigation on Saturday, Moss said.

Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding McLaughlin’s death, Moss said. They have not disclosed how she was killed.


Investigators have said that someone stole a red 2010 Chevrolet Impala from McLaughlin’s home on the day of the killing. Police later found the car in Wayne.

Knowing little of what happened to McLaughlin, townspeople said Saturday they were shocked and saddened by her death. Some in the rural town of about 1,700 people also said they felt a lost sense of security that had them locking doors and vehicles.

The daughter of Daniel and Rebecca McLaughlin, Brooke McLaughlin was described in her obituary as a “kind, loving, very thoughtful, big-hearted, strong person” who loved spending time with her family and hanging out with friends.

She also enjoyed campfires, music, shopping, swimming, four-wheeling, ice fishing, hiking and animals, particularly her bearded dragon lizard, Ziggy.

Brooke McLaughlin, a 14-year-old whose death Maine State Police have labeled a homicide, lived at this home on Blackberry Road in Mount Vernon. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Zachary Williams lives across from Blackberry Road, and while he didn’t know McLaughlin or her family, he saw her getting dropped off by the school bus.

“This is Mount Vernon. (It’s) deep woods,” Williams said. “You don’t think anything like that would happen here.”


As the father of young children, Williams said, “it makes me want to get security, get some cameras and lock up. I always do lock up. It makes me feel not comfortable. Something like this is sad.”

Monday night, Williams saw a cascade of emergency and private vehicles entering Blackberry Road, a dead-end dirt road with several mobile homes.

“I saw ambulances pulling up around 6:30,” Williams said. “That night, the whole road was lined with cars.”

Jodi Crocker, manager of Flying Pond Variety in Mount Vernon. McLaughlin was “just so young,” Crocker said. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

At Flying Pond Variety, manager Jodi Crocker took note of McLaughlin’s age. “She’s just so young.”

“I’m shocked,” said Susan Day, who was buying ice on a hot day. “They’ve said something about keeping your doors locked, so it must be somebody that shouldn’t be here.”

A retired teacher, Day said she was concerned about safety. “I don’t usually lock my doors, but I do now.” Day went out late Friday night to smoke and heard someone whistle. It scared her, so she went back indoors.


“Normally it’s very quiet here,” Day said. “Everybody knows everybody. But we don’t know what happened.”

Kaitlynn Dunn, 17, said she knew McLaughlin from school. When Dunn heard about McLaughlin’s death, she was shaken and called her mom, she said.

Despite McLaughlin’s killing, Dunn said she feels safe in her town. “It seems like an isolated attack. I still trust the town,” she said.

At Mount Vernon’s solid waste transfer station, manager Megan Goucher also remarked on McLaughlin’s age.

“Fourteen years old. That’s just crazy,” Goucher said. “It makes you want to lock your doors at night and lock your vehicle.”

At the town beach on Minnehonk Lake, across from the post office, Joanne Allen watched her 5-year-old grandson, Brayden, play in the water. She said Mount Vernon is close-knit, a place where neighbors help neighbors.

“It’s very heart-wrenching,” Allen said. “I’ve talked to my daughter about this. She’s so afraid to let the kids out of sight.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the State Police at 207-624-7076.

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