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Stacey Burns murder case "an ongoing investigation" after nearly a year

April 01, 2010
WOLFEBORO — As spring eases into April, memories of the May 10, 2009 murder of school nurse and mother of five, Stacey Burns, come to the fore. As the anniversary of her horrific death approaches, it's clear that her memory and her story, still incomplete, are on the minds of many.

Whether they knew her personally or not, the loss suffered by her family, its many friends of all ages, and the community at large, lies not far from consciousness as residents go about their daily lives.

A look through the nearly 20 articles and photos printed in this paper alone since the gruesome discovery of the crime as well as the local blogs that began with her death and still continue to offer commentary, presents an unfolding narrative of pain, anger, frustration, and of course, speculation. With so little official information, there's never been a shortage of theories and conjectures. Yet, a post was entered as recently as March 26, of this year. People can't seem to let it go.

On a recent plane ride, this reporter made the acquaintance of a fellow passenger, who happened to work in the criminal justice field. At the mention of Wolfeboro, she said, "Isn't that where there was a Mother's Day murder? It still isn't solved, am I right?"

That passenger was correct and in the words of one blogger, "The things that authorities haven't told us could fill volumes."

The community has passed through the rites of death: the vigil, the funeral and rites of healing: a dinner to raise money for the family, a walk to raise scholarship funds for students aspiring to careers in nursing. It's also provoked fear and uncertainty in the locking of doors and a new wariness, for no one has yet been arrested for the crime.

There has been finger-pointing and fault-finding with the Wolfeboro Police Department, which has no authority in the matter. It can only forward leads and pass along concerns to the State Police Crime Unit, and listen to residents, frustrated at the lack of an arrest after nearly a year.

At first, people thought it would be any moment, then any day, week, month, and now, almost a year has gone by. A blogger expressed what many probably feel, writing, " I don't want it to be anyone whose name has been mentioned." The difficulty with living in a small town is that no one wants to believe ill of a person whom they sat next to in school or have worked with side by side.

While residents struggle to accept the magnitude of the loss, they've been told by Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin that the case is still "an ongoing investigation," but not what that means. Another blogger may have said it best, commenting that he was "both frustrated and impressed by the silence of the A.G.'s office." Residents can hope that the silence, likely intended to protect the integrity of the case, will haunt the killer as it has frustrated the community, and bring about justice.

Stacey Burns' story can not yet be put to rest.

Littleton Chmber
Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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