Murder Investigation Update


A bereaved mother is begging for public's help to find the killer of Jesse Ryan, her 10 year old son.

The triple murder may be one of the worst in the state's history. The discovery of two men and a 10 year old boy stabbed to death in the Route 1 home has not just shocked and frightened residents in Amity; it has angered many too.

Today's Lewiston Sun Journal ( describes Jamie Merrill's anguish at being informed by Maine State Police of the murder of her son and exhusband. Young Jesse Ryan had been living in Lewiston with her since March. She pleads for the killer to come forward or if anyone knows any information, please call the State Police.

When police refused to answer her questions, Merrill got online and found out her son had been stabbed to death and the other details. Merrill is six months pregnant and engaged to Dwayne Lebrecque. She later collapsed and was taken to the hospital by ambulance to be checked by her obstetrician.

Jesse had guessed he was getting a baby brother. Jesse has a 16 year old sister, Mariah Ryan, so he has had years of experience at being a little brother. He was looking forward to being a big brother.

Mariah's mother, Tamara Strout who lives in Addison, previously had a nine year relationship with Ryan. They had rekindled their relationship and planned to marry.

Merrill was married to Ryan for seven years, but left because of abuse. She claimed that Ryan, a Vietnam veteran, was "a prescription drug addict, buying and selling the pills". Ryan had "been threatened by quite a few people" over the years, she said. A criminal background check only revealed a disorderly conduct charge in 1992. According to WGME TV13 (, Merrill claims the stolen pickup was acquired by trading drugs for it.

Lebrecque's opinion was that Ryan must have known his assailent, while Merrill believes there must have been more than one attacker. She believes her exhusband would never allow anything to happen to their son if it was in his power to prevent it. She cannot understand how someone could "do this to a kid and walk around with a conscience."

Shannon Ryan, another son of Jeff Ryan who resides in Texas, also feels that one person could not have overpowered the two men. He also objected to Merrill's description of his father as a prescription drug addict and dealer.

This is not Merrill's first brush with murder. In 1998, Randy McGowan shot and killed Bobby G. Brown in Danforth. Merrill, then 18 years old, had been Randy McGown's girlfriend. About two weeks after breaking up with McGowan, Merrill went back to this apartment to retrieve personal belongings with her new boyfriend, Bobby Brown. Brown was known locally as the Mountain Man. McGowan shot Brown with a 9mm handgun. McGowan received a 28 year prison sentence for the crime.

No matter what the story behind this horrible and cruel crime may be, nothing can change the fact that an innocent little 10 year old boy lost his life. Pure evil slipped into our little town and a bright little light was brutally smashed out and we are left wondering who and why someone would harm this precious little boy.

Jason DeHahn was a neighbor and long time friend worked as a sheetrocker. Living so close, DeHahn stopped by nearly every day to visit; Ryan was disabled and a Vietnam veteran.

Residents of the Town of Amity and Amity Matters would like to extend their deepest sympathy to the DeHahn, Ryan, and Merrill families and extended families.

Missing Ryan Pickup Found

According to Maine Sunday Telegram, the missing truck from the triple homicide in Amity was found in Weston about 11:30 Saturday morning June 26. The Ford 150 was found burned in a clearing about 15 miles from Ryan's Route 1 trailer where the slayings occurred. The land the pickup was found on belongs to the Cifelli family of Cape Cod. The truck has been moved to the Maine Crime Lab in Augusta for processing.

Later reports say the crime lab has finished processing the truck and no new evidence was found.