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Town still waiting for a break in the Burns murder case

June 11, 2009
WOLFEBORO — Townspeople still do not know who murdered Stacey Burns on Sunday, May 10. It is known that the mother of five, a nurse at Carpenter Elementary School and friend to many, was found dead in her home on North Main Street of stab wounds, but all else is speculation circulating, recirculating and expanding in the absence of facts.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin is in charge of the case. Six members of the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit and three state police forensic lab technicians completed an investigation of the crime scene in the first week after the murder, and according to Strelzin, at least 50 interviews have been conducted so far in the search for resolution.

The case remains active. There was a meeting Tuesday morning, June 9, in Concord on the Burns case that included members of State Police Major Crimes Unit, the Attorney General's Office and Wolfeboro Police Chief Stewart Chase, "along with other individuals whom Strelzin declined to identify," according to Union Leader Reporter Paula Tracy's report Wednesday.

While declining to talk specifically about the Burns' homicide, Strelzin says that what can be seen going on in an investigation is "the tip of the iceberg. You can see about 10 percent; the rest is behind the scenes." Strelzin says generally interviews continue, with some people being re-interviewed and additional locations being added to the search.

He said he understands how anxious people are for an arrest in the case, and assures that "we're working to bring closure. Everyone understands the importance of being patient and getting it right for the victim and her family. We only have one chance to do it."

Referring to double jeopardy, which protects a suspect from being tried more than once for the same crime, he explains the need for keeping information quiet so as not to jeopardize the case in any way. "We don't get to go back for a second chance," he says.

While Strelzin has said that statistics show that in New Hampshire it is extremely rare for a homicide to occur as an act of random violence, a statement that offers some reassurance, many have expressed tension as they hope for answers. The story has attracted wide attention, reaching publication in the Boston Globe, on Sunday, May 24, a sign that those south of us are waiting, too.

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