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With police staying mum, the violent death of Mike Burns remains a mystery

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Mike Burns, shown with his ex-wife Kimberly Houle, was known as a devoted father and Boy Scout troop leader. (Courtesy photo)

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state's Public Safety spokesman on Tuesday said it was not unusual for a homicide investigation like the one involving a Rochester, N.H., man killed in Saco last September to stretch out months, even years.

The perplexing death of Mike Burns remains with the state's Major Crimes Unit, but State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said, again, there was nothing new to report.

"We have a very good idea of what transpired, but we're not going to be releasing any information tonight," McCausland told the Portland Press Herald a day after the slaying.

As far as police are concerned, that mantra remained intact on Tuesday, almost eight months after Burns' violent death.

The 54-year-old twice-divorced self-employed computer technician and beloved local Boy Scout troop leader was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head on the front porch of 26 Nye. St., a Saco duplex, early the morning of Sept. 30.

Police have released little more than what was disclosed in their initial statement, which said they had identified the man who shot Burns and then called 911, and that there were two other men in the house at the time.

Lisa Marchese, a deputy attorney general and chief of the Criminal Division, said in December that there was a limit on what can be released citing fears of jeopardizing possible further investigation or interviews.

She also cited possible privacy issues, adding, "It could be inappropriate to have a discussion of the facts of the case when you have real people involved."

Marchese added that, "Eventually the public will understand."

Several months ago The Rochester Voice was apprised that the Major Crimes Unit had taken over the case and to call them for any updated information.

After numerous calls to the detective handling the case were not returned, The Rochester Voice was told by the unit's secretary that information regarding the case had been transferred back to McCausland.

On Tuesday McCausland said the major crimes unit was still handling the case, but he was media liaison.

McCauland again declined to answer any information regarding what type of weapon was used, when or with whom the most recent interview regarding the case had been conducted or if the four men inside the house that night new one another.

He did confirm, however, there was no risk to the public.

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