For Immediate Release
December 23, 2014
Benjamin J. Agati, Assistant Attorney General
New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and Colonel Robert Quinn of the New Hampshire State Police, announce that a cold case murder from July 1987 in Winchester, New Hampshire has been solved. However, no arrest will be made and no prosecution commenced because the perpetrator of the murder died in 2011.
On July 20, 1987, Judith Whitney was reported missing to the Amherst Police Department in Amherst, Massachusetts. Investigation revealed that Judith, age 43, was last seen alive in Keene New Hampshire on July 2, 1987. Four months later on November 8, 1987, a hunter discovered Judith's body buried in a shallow grave in Winchester, New Hampshire. A suspect named Edward Mayrand, then-age 40, was developed during the investigation, and after Judith's initial disappearance he was found in possession of Judith's car and handgun. However, not enough evidence was uncovered to support an arrest for homicide and none was made. The case eventually became inactive.
In 2010, the NH Cold Case Unit started working together with investigators from the Massachusetts State Police and members of the Worcester District Attorney's Office to revive the investigation. Those efforts included sharing information concerning Judith Whitney's murder and the 1983 unsolved murder of Kathleen M. Daneault, age 25, in Gardner, Massachusetts. In June of 2011, the NH Cold Case Unit was assisting the Massachusetts State Police in preparing a search warrant to obtain a sample of Edward Mayrand's DNA, when they learned that Mayrand was ill. A sample of his DNA was obtained and tested. In September 2014, the DNA testing revealed that Mayrand's DNA was on the ligature used to strangle Kathleen Daneault. This DNA finding along with other evidence convinced authorities that Edward Mayrand murdered Kathleen Daneault. The DNA evidence and other evidence, including corroborative evidence based upon details of the two murders and the physical evidence collected, also convinced authorities that Edward Mayrand murdered Judith Whitney. However, since Edward Mayrand died of metastatic lung cancer in 2011, he cannot be prosecuted for either murder. Therefore, this case will be closed as "solved," but without an arrest and prosecution.
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New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301