The death of a 3-year-old girl in Edgecomb on Christmas morning has been ruled a homicide, authorities said Wednesday.

The girl has been identified as Makinzlee Handrahan, Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities have not filed charges against anyone in connection with the toddler’s death or identified who was at home with the child at the time. Investigators have also not said how the child died.

Moss said an autopsy conducted Monday by the Maine Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Handrahan’s death was a homicide. That conclusion was not made public until Wednesday because the Maine Attorney General’s Office initially asked that the cause and manner of death be withheld.

The Lincoln County Communications Center received a 911 call at about 7:37 Christmas morning about a child who was unresponsive and not breathing. Emergency responders and deputies from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office went to an apartment at the Davis Island Townhomes development at 45 U.S. Route 1. Edgecomb is a rural community located just north of Wiscasset.

Police said the girl was transported to Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, where she was pronounced dead. The investigation was taken over by the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit, which is standard protocol in all child deaths in Maine.


Detectives and evidence response technicians investigated late into the night on Christmas and all day Monday.

A neighbor who spoke with the Press Herald on Tuesday said investigators wanted to know whether anyone heard screaming or banging coming from the apartment where the toddler and her family lived.

One neighbor, who did not give their name out of respect for the family, said the child’s mother was crying when she returned to the apartment complex Monday evening with two other women. The neighbor said the mother had two other children and another man was often seen at the home, presumably a boyfriend.

It was not clear Wednesday night if the child or her family had previous interactions with state child protective services workers.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment Wednesday on whether the girl and her family had any prior interactions with the state.

“Due to state and federal statutory prohibitions, and to avoid compromising law enforcement’s investigation, the department is unable to comment on this matter,” Jackie Farwell, an agency spokeswoman, said in an email Wednesday evening.


Maine’s child protective services program has been under scrutiny in recent years because of high profile cases of abuse and neglect that have left several young children dead in Maine. Four children under the age of 4 died in June and August of 2021.

Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services in June 2021 asked an outside agency – Casey Family Programs – to assist with an investigation and evaluation of the deaths of the four children.

“This is a call to action. In addition to our own review and ongoing work, we requested Casey Family Programs bring to bear its wealth of experience and national perspective to help us, and we’re bolstering StrengthenME to ensure Maine families have access to the support they need to cope with the significant stresses of the pandemic,” DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew said at the time.

Maine reported that more children died in 2021 from abuse, neglect or in households that had prior involvement with the child protective system than in any year on record.

In all, 29 children died in Maine last year and at least 27 had had some sort of child protective history, according to state data, which is not a comprehensive list of all child deaths, and doesn’t include five child deaths in which criminal cases have been filed.

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